Canyon-Johnson Closes $1B Fund

The Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds has just completed Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund III with equity commitments totaling $1 billion. The vehicle will make $4 billion accessible for real estate projects in underserved urban areas across the country.CJUF III marks Canyon-Johnson’s largest fund ever, as the previous two accounted for a total of $900 million. Investors included a range of pension funds, endowments, foundations and other entities from across the country. Interest in the fund was very high. “I cut it off at $1 billion because I don’t like to raise too much money,” Bobby Turner, the fund’s managing partner, told CPN today, noting that he has witnessed a tendency among others to abandon discipline when too much capital is involved. As was the case with the initial funds, CJUF III will engage in acquisition, development and redevelopment activities that will bring high-quality residential and retail offerings to diverse neighborhoods primed for revitalization. Environmentally conscious, Canyon-Johnson will continue to pursue LEED certifications for its projects. The success of the CJUF vehicles is already evident. Together, CJUF I and II, which closed in 2001 and 2005, respectively, have involved the production or redevelopment of approximately 6,200 residential units, 2 million square feet of retail offerings and 2.5 million square feet of commercial space. The two previous funds have been effective in a bevy of what Canyon-Johnson describes as gateway cities–locales that already have an established ethnic population, a need for transit oriented-development and increasingly high demand for product–from San Diego to Baltimore and points in between. CJUF III will continue to penetrate those markets, and will delve into new ones. “We’re expanding into a few very development-oriented cities where we’re seeing growing ethnic diversity,” Turner noted. “We haven’t invested in Seattle. And even a city like Salt Lake, which has infrastructure that will attract investment over the next 10 years, we’re very bullish on.” Canyon-Johnson is a partnership between investment advisors and money management entities Canyon Capital Realty Advisors L.L.C. and Magic Johnson Enterprises. Combined the two concerns have about $20 billion of capital under management.