USAA Real Estate Buys Interest in Square Mile Capital
Carl Gaines March 9, 2012, 11:55 a.m.
USAA Real Estate Co., based in San Antonio, TX has bought an interest in New York-based investment firm Square Mile Capital.
According to a statement, founders Jeffrey Citrin and Craig Solomon will continue to oversee day-to-day operations, retaining a majority interest. A spokesperson for USAA declined to specify the amount of the investment, though sources told The Commercial Observer that it amounts to a 49.9 percent piece of the firm.
Chairman and CEO of USAA Real Estate Co. Pat Duncan said in a prepared statement that the investment was meant to “broaden the investment opportunities we can offer our clients.” He added that “Mr. Citrin and Mr. Solomon offer extensive investment expertise in the North American real estate and financial markets, and we look forward to working with them to expand the platform they have built.”
Square Mile was launched in 2006 and has since deployed almost $2 billion of equity. Mr. Solomon, Square Mile managing principal, said that the firm had long admired USAA Real Estate’s leadership. “USAA Real Estate Company is a subsidiary of one of the nation’s strongest and most admired financial institutions,” he said. “We were delighted when they approached us with an interest in forming a strategic relationship that will enhance the long-term growth objectives of our firm.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Citrin, also managing principal, said that the firm had made great strides and that the alliance would be complimentary.
“Our platform’s alliance with USAA Real Estate Company will help us to open new doors and provide us with even more firepower in the marketplace, while enabling Square Mile to remain nimble and decisive in our decision-making,” Mr. Citrin said. “Both organizations have strong real estate platforms that now can complement each other, and we look forward to jointly taking full advantage of investment opportunities that will emerge in the coming years, on behalf of our investors.”
Square Mile has three discretionary real estate funds. The $2 billion of equity it has deployed is across over 80 investments. Last year it bought, along with equity partner Mountain Development Corp., an empty suburban office building in Northern New Jersey—at 56 Livingston Avenue in Roseland.
It also teamed with Invesco Advisors, WL Ross & Co. and the Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds in 2011 to acquire a $880 million portfolio of real estate loans from Bank of America.