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CityView closes LACERA-backed fund

The Los Angeles County pension was the sole investor in the Western US-focused multifamily vehicle.

Los Angeles-based private equity real estate firm CityView has closed its latest fund on $150 million, the firm said Monday.

The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) was the sole investor in CityView Western Fund I, an opportunistic vehicle with a focus on Western US multifamily assets. PERE understands that the firm is targeting a return in the mid-teens, and plans to close its first investment with capital from the fund later this month.

LACERA approved a $150 million commitment originally to CityView Multifamily Fund III at its June 8 meeting, according to a board meeting document. The vehicle was structured as a commingled, $400 million fund, but PERE understands that LACERA did not want to comprise more than 25 percent of the fund’s investor base. Instead, LACERA became the only limited partner in the vehicle, which was renamed CityView Western Fund I.

The pension plan has a history of investing in funds-of-one with the firm, including the CityView Bay Area Fund, a $100 million vehicle focused on the greater San Francisco area, in 2011, and its follow-on fund, CityView Bay Area Fund II, a 2012-vintage vehicle. The pension fund is also invested in CityView LA Urban Land Fund I, a 2007-vintage fund, and CityView Southern California Residential Fund II, a 2013-vintage vehicle, according to a board meeting document.

CityView has launched eight funds and separate accounts since its founding in 2003, said Sean Burton, the firm’s chief executive. With CityView Western Fund I, the firm is continuing its strategy of focusing on market-rate apartments west of the Mississippi in cities close to transportation and jobs, with projects primarily focused on the millennial demographic.

“We keep a close eye on population growth, job growth and the supply numbers in any given market,” Burton told PERE. “All of those continue to be strong, particularly in those West Coast gateway cities.”

The firm has more than $1.2 billion in assets under management, according to Monday’s statement.