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DRA holds first close on Fund VIII

The New York-based investment manager has held a first close on its latest real estate offering, bringing in $446.5 million in equity.

DRA Advisors may be on the path to another billion-dollar fundraise. The New York-based real estate investment manager has held a first close on its latest commingled vehicle, raising $446.5 million in equity for DRA Growth & Income Fund VIII, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  
Though DRA has not revealed its target for Fund VIII, the vehicle is a follow-on fund to Fund VII, which closed on $1 billion in equity commitments in October 2011. The firm’s website notes that its investor base includes public and private pension plans, university endowments, foundations, financial institutions and high-net-worth individuals. In July, the Teachers Retirement System of Texas committed $75 million to Fund VIII, while the Fire and Police Retirement and Health Care Fund of San Antonio committed $8 million in September and the Ann Arbor Retirement System invested $11 million in October.
DRA has followed a consistent strategy for its eight value-added vehicles, investing in markets or properties that are perceived as out of favor by other investors and enhancing value through aggressive leasing and operational plans to grow NOI, according to the firm’s website. DRA invests in the primary property types, diversifying its portfolio across office (30 percent), triple-net-lease retail (22 percent), multifamily (21 percent), retail (21 percent) and industrial (5 percent). Geographically, the firm focuses on the South, which makes up 42 percent of its portfolio, with the remainder focused on the East (28 percent), the West (23 percent) and the Midwest (7 percent). 
Separately, DRA recently acquired a 50 percent stake in a four-property office portfolio in Austin, forming a venture with the portfolio’s former owner, Brandywine Realty Trust. The $330 million deal included an interest in Barton Skyway, The Park on Barton Creek, 7000 West at Lantana and Cielo Center, which total nearly 1.4 million square feet in office space. Announced in July, the deal closed last month.