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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real Estate Florida.)

WEST PALM BEACH, FL-Locally based Kolter Group and New York City-based Och-Ziff Real Estate Acquisitions LP have formed a joint venture to acquire $1 billion of residential assets in the Southeast US. The companies will target developments across the development cycle, including vacant land, entitled lots, partially development communities or completed inventory in bulk, Howard Erbstein, Kolter’s chief investment officer, tells GlobeSt.com.

“We believe that the present downturn in the residential real estate market has set the stage for abundant investment opportunities throughout the Southeast,” said Kolter CEO Bobby Julien in a press release. “Och-Ziff’s capital markets and real estate platform will enhance Kolter’s ability to capitalize on these opportunities by enabling us to participate in larger and more diverse projects and investments.”

The JV is setting its sights on the Southeast as it expects the area to continue benefiting from strong demographic trends once the market corrects, says Erbstein, adding that short term opportunities will be pursued in the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia. The broader region will be looked to for long-term investments.

All cash transactions are likely in the near future, says Erbstein. “Regardless, the JV will employ debt as and when available by accessing the partners’ respective platforms and relationships,” he says.

The Kolter Group currently holds residential and commercial projects with an expected sales value of more than $9 billion. Och-Ziff Real Estate is an affiliate of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, an alternative asset management firm that currently manages over $33 billion around the world.

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