The DESCO Group Closes Venture with USAA Real Estate Company


WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 20, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The DESCO Group of St. Louis today announced USAA Real Estate Company of San Antonio as its new equity partner in the ownership of 28 shopping centers totaling over 2.3 million square feet and anchored by Schnucks supermarkets in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee. DESCO will be the managing member of the new venture.

DESCO President and CEO Mark Schnuck says, “When Charter Hall announced the decision to dispose of its U.S. assets, we seized upon the opportunity to structure a deal with new partners who share our commitment to continued growth in acquisition and development.”

“We are excited about entering into a joint venture with USAA. This company brings significant outside capital which will enable DESCO to invest in our portfolio and aggressively grow assets under management, specializing in supermarket-anchored shopping centers across the country,” said Schnuck.

“This agreement joins us with another outstanding grocery-anchored operator recognized for expertise in developing, leasing and managing supermarket-anchored centers,” said Pat Duncan, Chairman and CEO of USAA Real Estate Company.  “The DESCO Group has consistently demonstrated their ability in these areas as well as in maximizing value creation.”

Although Schnuck Markets, Inc. is a tenant in the 28 shopping centers, Schnuck says this new venture is completely independent of the grocery company. “DESCO’s experience in the supermarket industry provides a strong foundation for us to build upon, but growth opportunities will come largely from geographic regions outside Schnucks trade areas and will include other supermarket anchors,” said Schnuck.

Schnuck credits New York firm EASTDIL SECURED as the investment bankers of record. Iron Tree Capital LLC of New York/Atlanta provided additional advisory services.

Contact: The DESCO Group, Karen Holman, (314) 994-4464.

The DESCO Group, founded in 1993, provides corporate real estate services, development, brokerage, and property management and construction management services. DESCO specializes in delivering this broad range of comprehensive real estate services to corporate clients, institutions and private investors. The St. Louis-based firm is active in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, Louisiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Nebraska and Michigan. The company’s staff manages leases and provides developmental corporate services at 174 retail, office and industrial properties totaling nearly 12 million square feet.

USAA Real Estate Company, with approximately $7 billion of assets under management, provides co-investment, acquisition, and build-to-suit services for corporate and institutional investors. The USAA portfolio consists of office, industrial, multi-family, retail and hotel properties as well as investments in real estate operating companies. USAA Real Estate is a subsidiary of USAA, a leading financial services company, serving military families since 1922. For more information, visit

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