Ex-Somera principals target US retail

Backed by Lubert-Adler, the former founders of Somera Capital Management’s retail group have launched a venture to acquire retail properties across the US.

Steve Plenge and Michael Miller, former principals at California-based private equity real estate firm Somera Capital Management, have formed Pacific Retail Capital Partners to acquire retail properties in the US. The duo is working with private equity firm Lubert-Adler, which has agreed to provide $200 million (€132 million) to fund the new venture, according to a press report.

The new firm will target retail markets in Florida, Texas, California and Chicago as well as other areas in the Southeast and Northwest US. Pacific Retail will have a value-add strategy, improving and redeveloping acquired properties. It is targeting class B shopping centers that can be improved to a class B+ or A- grade.

The pair is looking to close three to five deals a year, placing its $200 million of equity in the next two to three years.

Plenge, former Somera executive vice president, said in the report that market conditions—declining retail sales and higher cost of debt—“translates into a number of buying opportunities for us.”

Plenge is managing principal at Pacific Retail. Miller, former vice president at Somera, is a principal. The pair created Pacific Retail Partners after Somera closed shop on its retail property investment division.