LOS ANGELES, CA (May 26, 2021) – Belay Investment Group (“Belay”) announced today that they have received a new capital allocation of $250 million from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (“CalSTRS”) to be deployed in both the expansion of existing operator partner relationships as well as in the initiation of new partnerships with emerging managers and market sector specialists across a variety of niche strategies and property types.
In conjunction with executing Belay Fund II, Belay has invested $300 million of equity on behalf of CalSTRS through commitments to six value-add operators, including a $100 million re-up into one of the existing operator relationships, pursuing niche strategies. A sample list of operators includes a team specialized in urban repositioning strategies targeting retail, multi-family and mixed-use assets in the Southwest; a Hispanic-focused workforce housing specialist capitalizing on the growth of the Hispanic middle class; an experienced multi-family developer deeply entrenched in their Southeast and Mid-Atlantic target markets; and, a team focused on the acquisition and renovation of multi-tenant light industrial properties positioned in high growth markets in Texas, Florida, and the West Coast.
“The additional allocation to Belay represents the next step in furthering our mutual commitment to providing access, new avenues, and new opportunities within the real estate investment space,” said Mike DiRe, CalSTRS’ Director of Real Estate. “These allocations advance our efforts to ensure the financial future of California’s public school educators.” Julie Donegan, a Portfolio Manager at CalSTRS added, “we look forward to continuing to work with Belay to invest in compelling opportunities with emerging managers we don’t typically get access to through other parts of our portfolio, while servicing communities through the investments we choose to make together.”
“Belay and our affiliate company AVP Advisors, have been investing capital on behalf of CalSTRS for 15 years and the Belay team could not be more excited about the new capital allocation, coupled with an expansion of our relationship with CalSTRS” said Barry Chase, Belay’s Managing Principal and CEO. “This will allow Belay to expand our emerging manager investment strategy for both existing and new operating partners while better positioning Belay to become a broader resource for CalSTRS.”
Despite widespread challenges presented by current market conditions, Belay has remained active deploying $175 million in new equity investments since the beginning of the year. “Now more than ever, we’re experiencing a symbiosis within our operating partner relationships” explained Eliza Bailey, Belay’s Managing Principal in charge of Investment and Asset Management activity. “Whenever we see major disruptions in the market as we’ve witnessed since the onset of COVID-19, it serves as a reminder that real estate is a local business where those with the greatest depth of knowledge and relationships within their respective markets are better equipped to obtain the best opportunities. When you couple this niche ground-level market expertise with Belay’s broad capabilities and breadth of investment experience, it makes for a powerful combination, and a compelling proposition for all parties involved.”
Looking to the future, Belay’s focus will center on strengthening its positions in workforce housing and last-mile industrial, while building its commitment to niche strategies such as the residential debt market, sustainable adaptive re-use, and life science.