Pension Funds Can’t Seem to Swear Off New York

state flag oregon Pension Funds Cant Seem to Swear Off New York In this week’s Observer, Dana Rubinstein and Eliot Brown wrote about how badly California’s two biggest pension funds got burned by New York real estate. A fund for retired civil servants in the Golden State, for instance, invested $500 million in Tishman Speyer’s disastrous 2006 purchase of Stuyvesant Town and Cooper Village—and lost every last cent.

But New York real estate remains a siren song nonetheless for pension funds. Database CoStar runs down the reality that funds continue to eye property nationwide for investment, including in New York (and we had a scoop earlier this week about a mammoth Canadian pension fund partnering with SL Green on two recent tower deals). To be fair, real estate is not a bad place to park money; certainly it’s less volatile than, say, the stock market or a fund run by Goldman Sachs. Still, the risks can be enormous and the rewards deceptively elusive, as they tend to be over the long term.

Regardless, an Oregon entity recently gave $100 million to a fund started by Steve Roth’s Vornado Realty Trust to play with in D.C. and here, and elsewhere.

Best of luck.

tacitelli@observer.com