Asana raises $500m for first fund – Exclusive

The two-year-old real estate fund manager hit its hard-cap in approximately nine months.

Asana Partners has wrapped up its first fundraise in less than a year.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based real estate investment firm has reached its hard-cap of $500 million for its debut fund, Asana Partners Fund I, PERE has learned.

Asana began marketing the value-add, retail-focused fund about nine months ago, with an initial target of $400 million.

The firm held a first close of $280 million for Fund I in August, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund attracted capital from 20 institutional investors, including city and state public pension plans, corporate plans, insurance companies and endowments.

Limited partners included the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS), which committed up to $25 million in August; Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, which designated up to $50 million; and the New Mexico State Investment Council earmarked up to $75 million in January.

Investors in the fund’s first close received a six-month fee waiver on management fees, while single investors that committed $75 million or greater or an aggregated investor group that committed $100 million or more were entitled to a reduced 1.35 percent management fee, discounted from 1.5 percent, according to LACERS documents.

Through the fund, Asana will pursue an acquisitions-only strategy, focusing on multi-tenant retail buildings, retail condominium interests in mixed-use buildings or retail-driven mixed-use properties. Investments will have a typical purchase price in the range of $20 million to $60 million.

Fund I will be focused on urban and infill US neighborhoods that offer the potential for strong income returns and capital appreciation. The fund will target 11 markets across the US: Austin; Dallas; Houston; Nashville, Tennessee; Atlanta; Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte; Raleigh, North Carolina; Washington, DC; New York and Boston.

The fund will have a gross return target of 15 percent to 17 percent and net return target of 11 percent to 13 percent, according LACERS documents, with leverage of approximately 60 percent.

To date, approximately 25 percent of the fund’s capital has been invested or committed in Washington, DC, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Austin. Additionally, Asana has identified a pipeline of additional investments with a gross value of approximately $600 million.

Hodes Weill Securities acted as global placement agent while King & Spalding acted as legal advisor for the fund.

Asana was founded in 2015 by Terry Brown, Jason Tompkins and Sam Judd – the former chief executive, chief financial officer and head of north-east acquisitions, respectively, of EDENS, a retail real estate investment trust. Asana is structured as a vertically-integrated operator and has a team of 19 professionals.

EDENS is owned by the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System; a Blackstone-managed club consisting of Virginia Retirement System, State of Wisconsin Investment Board and North Carolina Retirement System; and JPMorgan Asset Management’s Strategic Property Fund.