The Maryland-based Meridian Group has closed on its first real estate private equity fund, attracting more than $160 million of discretionary capital from institutional investors. With leverage, Meridian said in a statement that it has the capacity to invest a total of over $500 million.
The fund, Meridian Realty Partners I, is one of the largest equity funds focused on real estate in the Washington metropolitan area. “We are delighted to have this discretionary fund that enables us to capitalize on the attractive investment opportunities that we are seeing in our market as a result of the slow economy, soft market conditions and low interest rates,” President David Cheek said in a statement. “We believe that it is a good time in the cycle to selectively invest in Washington real estate, and we expect to achieve our targeted returns as the market improves over the next several years and beyond.”
With the new fund, Meridian already has completed three office acquisitions, totaling 572,000 square feet in Northern Virginia. The acquisitions include One Ballston Plaza (148,000 square feet) in Arlington, Cameron Run (144,000 square feet) in Alexandria, and Tysons Technology Center (280,000 square feet) in Tysons Corner.
According to Meridian, these buildings were about 75 percent leased at acquisition. Meridian plans to add value through leasing the vacant space and repositioning and stabilizing the assets.
Since 1993, Meridian has acquired 7.4 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, and hotel properties, as well as 439 acres of land – totaling about $2.5 billion in value.
Prior to the formation of Meridian Realty Partners I, Meridian’s transactions were capitalized through joint ventures. Meridian’s partners have included The Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, The Carlyle Group and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. Founded in 1993 by David Cheek and Bruce Lane, the Meridian Group is a real estate investment and development firm focused on the metropolitan Washington, D.C., market.
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