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Canyon-Johnson closes third RE fund

The Los Angeles-based fund tied to basketball legend Magic Johnson, Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, has closed its third vehicle on $1 billion saying its strategy of revitalizing urban neighborhoods across the US is a proven success.

The Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, a joint venture between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s Johnson Development, has closed its third vehicle on $1 billion.

The Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund III will continue the strategy of the firm’s previous two funds of investing in the development and urban revitalization in densely populated and ethnically diverse US cities.

Canyon-Johnson’s previous two funds closed on a combined equity commitment of $900 million, with CJUF I raising $300 million in 2001 and CJUF II closing on $600 million in 2005. With leverage, Fund III will facilitate $4 billion of development investments, according to a statement.

Managing partner Bobby Turner said the latest fund proved the success of Canyon-Johnson’s strategy adding: “Investing in ethnically diverse markets can not only generate strong financial returns, but also benefit local communities and facilitate a positive environmental impact.

“The sheer scope and size of the third fund and its resulting capacity for revitalization in urban neighborhoods speaks volumes about the continued opportunities in our nation’s cities.”

Since its inception in 2001, Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund has invested in urban residential, commercial and retail developments in metropolitan cities in the US including, Brooklyn, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Diego and Washington. In February, the firm appointed former California state treasurer Phil Angelides as chairman of their Communities Fund in a bid to expand its green initiatives.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson said the potential for revitalization of ethnic communities was “nearly limitless. We want residents to embrace our projects by patronizing them and respecting them.”