LOS ANGELES-Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and former L.A. Lakers basketball star Magic Johnson have closed on the third of the partnership’s urban revitalization funds, a $1 billion vehicle called Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund III. The third fund surpasses the combined $900 million in equity of the two predecessor funds and will facilitate more than $4 billion in new development and urban revitalization in the top 40 US markets.

The fund will finance the development, redevelopment, acquisition and repositioning of real estate in “densely populated, ethnically diverse neighborhoods with strong market fundamentals for retail and housing,” according to the partners. Its $1 billion in commitments came from a broad range of public and private pension funds, endowments, foundations and investment companies from throughout the nation, most of which participated in the first two Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds.

In addition to its bottom-line investment objectives, the new fund will foster economic opportunities for underserved residents of the cities in which it invests and will pursue LEED certifications while supporting transit-oriented housing that helps to reduce traffic and accompanying emissions.

Bobby Turner, the fund’s managing partner, comments that the support of the institutional capital partners and the scope of the third fund “speak volumes about the continued opportunities in our nation’s cities.” Since inception in 2001, the Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds have invested in a diverse mix of property types including retail, residential, mixed-use, commercial and industrial in cities across America.

Like its predecessor funds, Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund III will partner with local communities and developers, providing them with capital and development experience. The closing of the latest Urban Fund follows the announcement in February this year of a $2 billion fund to acquire 10,000 units of market-rate work force rental housing and mixed-use projects in cities throughout the US.

The fund announced in February is called the Canyon-Johnson Urban Communities Fund and is “just a logical brand extension for Canyon-Johnson,” Turner told GlobeSt.com when the fund was announced. Although the funds have similar-sounding names, the Urban Communities Fund differs from the Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds in that it will be a platform to directly purchase existing for-rent housing, Turner explained.

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