INDIANAPOLIS-Strategic Capital Partners LLC has launched a new fund to focus on underserved urban communities across the country, and has tapped Bart Peterson, the former mayor of Indianapolis, as managing director of the vehicle. Overseen by Peterson, Strategic Partners Urban Fund is currently in the capital-raising stage.

The vehicle was in the works for a while, says Peterson, who explains that he and the SCP chairman Gene Zink–a former top executive at Duke Realty–had known each other for several years, back when Peterson was mayor. “We began talking about a real estate fund that would be different from what SCP had been doing since its founding three years ago,” relates Peterson. “This fund would focus on underserved and disinvested urban communities. Historically, many urban neighborhoods have not seen the level of investment in real estate development that suburban areas have seen.

“We felt it was important to try to bring real estate investment capital to these areas that often are neglected by the traditional real estate industry,” he continues. “Some have just never received much investment and some were once-thriving areas that saw a lot of capital flight–store closures, the deterioration of housing stock and the loss of other commercial enterprises. We felt like this was an important thing to do. It’s something you have to have a strong desire to do.”

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