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Nuveen launches new investing sector, seeks to hold over $15B in impact real estate assets by 2026

Nuveen Real Estate, a subsidiary of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA), announced plans today to open a new impact investing real estate sector targeting affordable, sustainable and climate-safe housing, according to a press release.

The firm is currently one of the world’s largest real estate investment managers with over $152 billion of assets under management, and has operated in the industry for over 85 years across the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific.

While Nuveen currently manages more than $5.8 billion in assets in public and private markets aimed at positively impacting communities, it says that this new Nuveen Real Estate impact investing sector will hold a separate $15 billion in real estate assets under management by 2026, according to Commercial Observer.

The new sector is intended to invest in early-stage projects and take an impact-led approach to increase the supply of social and affordable housing, by targeting low-income and disadvantaged populations, according to the release.

The firm says that the new sector will start with $3 billion directly invested into 105 global assets, and will focus on purchasing affordable housing for residents that make 30% to 60% of their area’s median income.

Nuveen also stated it will focus on regeneration projects within healthcare, education and transportation services, and it will be designed to “improve communities by providing supportive services, enhancing residents’ quality of life and financial outcomes, and ensuring affordable, sustainable and climate safe housing.”

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The firm says this will occur while it strives to meet its commitment to make its global property portfolio net zero carbon by 2040.

Nadir Settles, who will serve as global head of impact investing in addition to his current role as head of Nuveen Real Estate’s New York Office, told Commercial Observer that while $15 billion is the goal for 2026, he intends it to be the floor rather than ceiling.

““We’re going to aggressively work to outpace that, and with enhancing our public-private partnerships, hopefully we beat that plan in two years. All our investments are going to provide for social mobility … and so we want to scale to $30 billion, to $50 billion,” Settles said.

In addition to Settles, Nuveen’s senior portfolio manager Pamela West will act as senior portfolio manager of the impact investing sector, and plans to invest in affordable housing through the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific region (namely New York, New Jersey, California, Washington D.C. and the Sun Belt).

Both Settles and West also told Commercial Observer that the new fund will counter risk of displacement by converting existing properties into affordable housing, extending affordability restrictions on property it owns, and making buildings more sustainable.

This new impact investing sector follows the launch of Nuveen’s German living impact platform and close of the firm’s global private equity impact platform, which targets investments that promote energy efficiency and services for underserved communities.

“By leveraging Nuveen Real Estate’s industry expertise, we are going beyond just affordable housing to focus our attention on community revitalization,” stated Settles in the release.

“We see an immediate opportunity to scale our strategy and leverage our leading position in the industry to support tenant well-being and create a more sustainable future. I am honored to have been chosen to lead such a significant sector,” he said.

In other recent proptech news, CAPE Analytics launched its new AI real estate intelligence platform, “AIRE.” oHouse also raised a $182 million Series D for its home improvement marketplace.

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