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LOS ANGELES-CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust and Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. have formed a joint venture to acquire up to $800 million of newly developed industrial build-to-suit projects from Duke over the next three years. The two firms have initially identified six properties totaling 5.2 million sf that the venture will acquire for $250 million this year.

In addition to the properties to be acquired this year, the two firms have agreed to expand the venture to include additional bulk industrial build-to-suit projects to be developed by Duke over the next three years. Properties would be contributed to the venture upon their completion, subject to the commencement of leasing and certain other conditions.

Top executives of the two firms explained the benefits of the JV to each. Jack Cuneo, Princeton, NJ-based president and CEO of CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust, says that the arrangement “provides us exclusive access to a pipeline of newly constructed, institutional quality industrial properties around the country.” Duke’ chairman and CEO, Denny Oklak, says that the JV “will allow Duke to retain an interest in key bulk industrial build-to-suit projects, recycle a significant amount of capital and strengthen its private capital track record with the ultimate goal of launching additional funds.”

Duke will receive asset management, property management, construction management, development and leasing fees in connection with services provided to the venture, which expects to hold its properties for long-term investment.Duke specializes in the ownership, construction, development, leasing and management of office, industrial, medical office and retail real estate. The company owns, manages and has under development more than 122 million rentable sf in 24 US cities. Duke also controls approximately 7,600 acres of land potentially representing more than 111 million sf of future development.

CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust is a public, non-listed real estate investment trust that invests primarily in office, retail, industrial, and multifamily residential properties located in major metropolitan areas in the US. It is sponsored by L.A.-based CB Richard Ellis Investors, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of CB Richard Ellis Group Inc.

As Cuneo explained to GlobeSt.com when CBRE Realty Investors began selling shares in 2006, the REIT’s structure enables individual investors who are looking for diversification and additional income to “emulate what institutions and pension funds have historically done” by investing in direct real estate investments with professional management. CBRE Realty Trust also invests in some properties outside the US, including its recent acquisition of a property in London. The REIT paid £13,795,000 or $27.86 million for the 40,468-sf Thames Valley Five, a class A office building at 400 Thames Valley Park Dr. in the M4 corridor, west of Central London.

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