LOS ANGELES-Former California treasurer Phil Angelides, a veteran of the commercial real estate industry before he was treasurer, has joined Los Angeles-based Canyon Capital Realty Advisors as a principal and as chairman of a new fund that plans to invest $2 billion to acquire some 10,000 units of market-rate work force rental housing and mixed-use projects in cities across the US. Angelides and Bobby Turner, managing partner of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors, tell GlobeSt.com that the new investment vehicle, called the Canyon-Johnson Urban Communities Fund, expects to start acquiring properties in the second quarter of this year and that once it hits its stride, it should be able to deploy all of its capital in about a year.

Angelides describes the new fund as “an extraordinary opportunity to respond to the growing need for rental work force housing in America’s urban centers.” He cites a series of factors that are driving the demand for new rental housing in cities, which in turn is driving the new investment effort by Canyon Capital.

Among the factors Angelides cites are a projected increase of 120 million in a US population that is expected to grow primarily in urban areas, rising popular and governmental pressure to constrain suburban development in favor of more concentrated development in cities because of concerns about global warming, and a projected need for more than four million new rental units in the US over the next 10 years. “There is a great opportunity to buy rental properties, improve them, green them and really create a good living environment for working people in urban centers,” Angelides says.

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