Inland Real Estate Corp., a real estate investment trust based in Oak Brook, Ill., and the New York State Teachers' Retirement System have entered into a joint venture to acquire up to $400 million of retail properties in Inland's target markets in the Midwest.Initially, Inland will contribute eight retail centers with an approximate net equity value of $100 million, and NYSTRS will contribute about $50 million of equity capital to the venture, Inland said. NYSTRS will also contribute an additional $100 million for future acquisitions if certain conditions are satisfied. The joint venture will use debt funding as well, the REIT said. Inland will manage the properties for the venture. "Our partnership with NYSTRS will enable us to further diversify our capital resources and will allow us to enhance our growth by expanding our core strategy of acquiring high-quality shopping centers in infill Midwest markets," said Mark Zalatoris, Inland's chief operating officer.

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