Prince Charles to Launch £1B Property Fund

Prince Charles is planning to launch a ¬£1 billion property fund that will invest in sustainable building projects, according to a report in London’s SundayTelegraph.A heavyweight team of property executives has been lined up to run the fund, called Tellesma, and Credit Suisse will raise money for the fund from Middle Eastern investors. Ian Henderson, former CEO of Land Securities, has been appointed as chairman. Mark Collins, who was Land Securities’ COO, will serve as chief executive of the new fund. A third of the fund will be owned by The Prince’s Charities, which will benefit from the fund’s profits. The brain-child of Prince Charles, Tellesma is seen as a way to capitalize on the expertise and experience gained by developing Poundbury, a 400-acre master-planned village established in Dorset, England in the late 1980s. Although Poundbury has attracted criticism, it remains one of the few models for sustainable development in the United Kingdom. Tellesma is expected to focus more on brownfield sites and commercial properties rather than the village concept. It will also be able to take advantage of falling real estate prices. Estimates suggest that in the first six months of 2008 the price the land targeted by Tellesma has fallen 25 percent. Many sites are thought to be changing hands at up to a 50 percent discount to recent valuations. According to Real Capital Analytics, London is the second most active global real estate market, with $37.9 billion in transactions in the past 12 months–and $2.7 billion of that in the industrial sector.