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Swift holds first close on debut fund

The real estate investment firm founded by former Blackstone executive Christopher Peatross has held a first close on its debut fund, raising $75 million for value-added properties on the West Coast.

San Francisco-based investment firm Swift Real Estate has held its first close on approximately $75 million in commitments for its debut vehicle, Swift Real Estate Partners Fund I. The firm – started by Christopher Peatross, the former office property portfolio manager at The Blackstone Group – launched the fund earlier this year with a goal of $250 million in capital.

Swift has garnered a variety of investors for Fund I, including foundations, endowments, public and private pensions, high-net-worth individuals and family offices. The firm anticipates that, with its current momentum, a second close could occur as early as next month.

The fund plans to acquire value-added office facilities along the West Coast, specifically in the San Francisco Bay Area. According to Douglas Abbey, chair of Swift’s investment committee, the fund is seeking properties with opportunities for “complete physical transformation.”  The vehicle already has begun to invest its capital and is expected to close on a suburban office building in the Bay Area in September.  Swift projects that, with leverage, the fund will have up to $600 million in buying power. 

Peatross, the former president and chief executive officer of CarrAmerica, Trizec Properties and Equity Office Properties, left Blackstone in June 2010 to form Swift. Peatross originally focused his venture on Northern California properties but has since expanded its scope to the entire West Coast. Abbey, meanwhile, served as co-founder of both AMB Property, which merged with Prologis in 2011, and IHP Capital Partners before joining Swift at the beginning of this year. Rather than using a placement agent, Swift is relying on relationships that Peatross and Abbey have established with investors.

Since its founding, Swift has amassed a portfolio of properties totaling close to 2 million square feet, including the Swift Plaza, a four-building, 1 million-square-foot complex in Concord, Calif. The firm has approximately $500 million of assets under management.