Former Blackstone executive raises $412m for debut US fund – Exclusive

Redcar Fund I, an opportunistic vehicle focused on LA creative office, was oversubscribed by $62m.

Redcar Fund I focuses exclusively on Los Angeles real estate

Redcar Properties, a California-based investment firm launched by former Blackstone executive Chris Chee has closed its first fund on $412 million, beating its $350 million target, PERE has learned.

Redcar Fund I is understood to have been oversubscribed, with commitments from pensions, endowments, financial institutions, family offices, funds of funds and global asset managers surpassing its $400 million hard cap. In total, the vehicle drew interest in excess of $500 million, a source familiar with the fundraising effort told PERE.

Redcar began raising capital for the fund in late 2018, targeting opportunistic returns. The Evercore Group acted as the placement agent for the vehicle while Kirkland & Ellis was the lead law firm.

Chee, a former managing director for Blackstone, launched Santa Monica-headquartered Redcar after departing the New York-based mega manager in 2015. The firm focuses exclusively on value-add and opportunistic investments in Greater Los Angeles, with a specialty in creative offices serving the region’s booming original content industry. Targeted tenants include streaming platforms such as Amazon, Apple and HBO.

More than $300 million from the Redcar Fund I has already been deployed through 14 transactions in submarkets such as Culver City, Santa Monica, SilverLake/Frogtown and Chinatown.

In a statement, Chee said he was pleased with the investor support for his firm’s debut vehicle and he is confident in the investment opportunities in the Los Angeles metro.

“We have assembled a strong portfolio for Fund I and continue to have an active pipeline of attractive opportunities,” he said, adding that the firm “has a very high conviction on the LA market” and its strategy going forward. To date, firm has invested $600 million into 40 assets throughout the region.

Chee left Blackstone in September 2015 after 13 years with the company. He launched the firm’s Los Angeles office in 2005 and drove the expansion in the western US, compiling a portfolio of 75 million square feet and exiting much of it before the global financial crisis, PERE previous reported. In subsequent years, he also led an effort to acquire roughly two million square feet of office space in Orange County, California. Prior to joining Blackstone as a principal in 2002, Chee worked for Fortress Investment Group.