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CZECH REPUBLIC-Wenceslas Behringer Ltd., a joint venture between Addison, TX-based Behringer Harvard REIT I and St. Wenceslas Property Fund, managed by Edinburgh, England-based Hunter Property Fund Management Ltd., has added seven properties to its $395 million fund of assets in Eastern and Central Europe. One of the sites is a 12,378-sf retail strip in Ajka, Hungary, and the rest, consisting of about 86,000-sf of industrial and almost 100,000 sf of retail, are here.

The JV already has 15 other properties in the region that are about 95% occupied, and include the 64,583-sf Witawa Family Center in Gdynia’s Tricity submarket. M. Jason Mattox, chief administrative officer for Behringer, would not reveal the purchase price of the recent properties acquired. He says the investment could be impacted by the sinking global markets, but are too valuable in the long run. “The population still has to eat,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “This investment capitalizes on basic functions such as grocery shopping. We also believe that this area has a stronger growth rate than the rest of Europe, it would be hard for the economy to stop that trend.”

He says the area has been underserved by grocery stores. Tenants of the recently acquired properties include Plus Discount and Ahold, both grocery stores, and the home decorating store Jysk. “These tenants have the experience to know these markets,” Mattox says.

The goal of the JV is to buy these properties piecemeal at a discount, then combine them into a larger portfolio and sell them, Mattox says. “We have a three-to-six year time horizon, starting this year,” he says.

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