CalSTRS Loses $125 Million on Florida Industrial Land

The CalSTRS Building
The CalSTRS Building

CalSTRS revealed Thursday it had lost $125 million on an investment – reportedly written off since 2009 – in a piece of industrial land in Florida that lost much of its value when land values went bust just over a half-decade ago.

CalSTRS had been waiting for the price of the land to recover a bit before selling – and the fund did recover some of its losses.

But the time to sell was now given the fund is restructuring its real estate portfolio.

More details from the Sacramento Bee:

CalSTRS said Thursday it lost around $125 million on the sale of some Florida real estate […]

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System confirmed that one of its investment partnerships recorded a $132 million loss on the recent sale of a swath of industrial land in Florida’s Palm Beach County.

CalSTRS spokesman Ricardo Duran said the teachers’ pension fund owned 95 percent of the investment and took 95 percent of the loss.

The deal was first reported by the Palm Beach Post and South Florida Business Journal.

Duran said CalSTRS wrote off the investment entirely in 2009, so the sale price represents a partial recovery of its losses. The sale price was nearly $3 million higher than CalSTRS valued the land in the third quarter of this year.

CalSTRS decided not to wait any longer for land prices to recover, however. “The likelihood of getting what we paid for it anytime soon is pretty remote,” Duran said.

Besides, CalSTRS wanted to unload the property as it implements a restructuring of its real estate portfolio, moving away from speculative land deals in favor of leased-up, income-producing properties. “This is part of our de-risking,” Duran said.

CalSTRS manages a $189.7 billion portfolio.


Photo by Stephen Curtin