Companies & People: New HRE-focused REIT plans to deploy $2B in 36-48 months

A Q&A with CA Health and Science Trust Inc.’s Russell Brenner and Jesse Ostrow


By John B. Mugford

The CAHST team includes, from left to right, back row: Jesse Ostrow, Russell Brenner, Maribel Beltran and Peter Souri. Front row, left to right, Herschel Harris, Felicia Shotkoski, Loriann Duffy, Peter Martin and Jared Schnoll. (Photo courtesy of CAHST)

Since its founding in 2004 as an acquirer and developer of student housing properties, Chicago-based CA Ventures LLC has branched out into other property types, including residential, industrial and senior housing.

Over the years, the firm that was originally known as Campus Acquisition – the “CA” in CA Ventures – grew into what it calls a “global, vertically integrated real estate investment management company with more than $13 billion of assets across North America, South America and Europe.”

In early 2020, the investment firm made its move into healthcare real estate (HRE) with the launching of a medical office and life science division.

In recent months, the company announced that the healthcare division had evolved into a new entity, CA Health and Science Trust Inc. (CAHST), a private real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on acquiring and developing value-add and core-plus medical office and life science facilities across the country.

Leading the private REIT are: as president, Russell Brenner, a 24-year commercial real estate (CRE) veteran with a strong background in acquiring and developing medical office buildings (MOBs) and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs); and, as chief investment officer, Jesse Ostrow, also a CRE veteran with a strong background in real estate private equity, investment banking and consulting.

The two executives were previously with well-known Chicago-based HRE firms, as Mr. Brenner was a partner from 2012 to 2019 with Stage Equity Partners and Mr. Ostrow was the chief investment officer with MedProperties Group, a medical real estate investment, development and operating platform. He was with the firm from 2011 to 2018.

In announcing the launching of CAHST in September, the REIT also announced an initial equity commitment of up to $245 million from three partners; New York-based Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, New York-based Monarch Alternative Capital LP and CA Ventures.

According to Mr. Brenner, the REIT plans additional follow-on equity raises “in the coming 24 months. With leverage, we will seek to deploy roughly $2 billion over the next 36 to 48 months.”

The new REIT has certainly gotten off to a fast start.

In making the announcement in mid-September about its formation as a private REIT, CAHST also announced that it had

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