CREC and Greenstreet Real Estate Partners formed a new joint venture that will focus on acquiring land that is in the path of future development. The venture is the latest to join the “land banking” trend in Florida, where the pace of growth is leading some owners to conclude that buying land itself and waiting until developers coming knocking later is a good investment strategy.

In its first acquisition, Greenstret/CREC Land Holdings LLC acquired a 33-acre tract in St. Lucie County‥

“Our new venture will rely on CREC's extensive market knowledge and Florida contacts to identify properties that will be ripe for development in the next five years,” says Warren P. Weiser, chairman, CREC.

The joint venture will analyze demographic and homebuilding trends, current retail and office demand, traffic patterns and geographic boundaries to identify future growth areas and acquire promising land parcels.

CREC joins other groups, like Apollo Real Estate Advisors who, in partnership with the Adler Group, this spring raised $25 million to focus strictly on land acquisitions.

“The one place where we thought we could be a real trendsetter and where we could create a niche for ourselves is in the area of land banking,” says Matthew Adler, executive vice president of the Adler Group,.

The Apollo fund is also targeting land near major housing projects already underway in South Florida, but outside the more mature areas of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.