By Jon Peterson
New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) has made a direct investment in one of its operators. The pension fund issued a $370 million investment into EDENS, now a national shopping center investment company with a number of assets that are located on the West Coast. The pension fund holds approximately a 40 percent stake in the company in return for its capital, as stated by the pension fund in an email.
At the end of March, EDENS announced that it had acquired a portfolio of 8 shopping centers across the West Coast. These properties were located in the markets of San Francisco, Sacramento, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego. Previous reporting by The Registry stated that EDENS had paid more than $243.89 million to acquire three assets in the San Francisco Bay Area and $103.8 million to purchase two properties in the Seattle area.
NYSTRS had recently traded its investment in one shopping center and made the investment in EDENS. The pension fund wrote in an email that “On a net basis NYSYTRS is actually reducing its retail exposure with the sale of the Donahue Schriber platform. Nearly all of our retail exposure remains in the grocery-anchored neighborhood center space, which has continued to have strong fundamentals.”
The pension fund declined to comment on the total sales price on the sale of Donahue Schriber, which occurred earlier this year. This entity was acquired by First Washington Realty, which was backed by California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS). NYSTRS stated in a board meeting document that the sale of Donahue Schriber represented a 9.6 percent net IRR and a 2.5X equity multiple.
EDENS is now looking to expand its West Coast presence further and is looking to invest in shopping centers from San Diego to Seattle. The company is known as a buyer and developer of shopping centers on a nationwide basis. Its four regional offices are located in Boston, Columbia, S.C., Dallas and Washington. It owns and operates 14.2 million square feet across 110 properties in major markets around the country.