New venture to buy medical buildings

Cogdell Spencer Inc., a Charlotte real estate investment trust, is teaming with Northwestern Mutual to acquire medical office buildings and other healthcare facilities nationwide.

Their joint venture, CSA Medical Partners LLC, expects to spend up to about $350 million to buy facilities associated primarily with not-for-profit healthcare systems and large physician-owned clinics.

Cogdell Spencer said it will contribute 20 percent of the equity capital while using the joint venture as its exclusive vehicle for cash acquisitions.

“This is a great opportunity for us to continue our growth strategy and serve the expanding needs of our clients,” said Frank Spencer, president and CEO.

Cogdell Spencer, which dates to 1972, is a pioneer in health care development, physician ownership and asset and property management.

It merged in March with Marshall Erdman & Associates of Madison, Wis., creating a company of more than 600 employees and combined 2007 revenue of about $365 million.