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Canyon-Johnson Plans New Deals

Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund LLC cashed in on two properties in February and is closing the fund's second round — which, at $600 million, is twice as much as was raised in the first, 2001 go-round.

The firm expects to announce its first developments from Fund II in March, says Bobby Turner, managing partner and co-chair. Most will be mixed-use with some retail. The investments could translate into $2.5 billion of revitalization in nearby areas, says Turner.

Expect to see a second partnership with Northern Realty Group in Chicago, two blocks from their State Place development. And, says Turner, Canyon-Johnson is looking for another Milwaukee location following the sale of Midtown Center there with partner Boulder Venture LLC. Inland Western Milwaukee Midtown LLC bought the newly constructed shopping center for $53 million.

At least 10 institutional investors vied for the property. Kimco, Prudential Morgan Stanley and American Realty showed interest, says Turner. Midtown Center includes 320,000 square feet of gross leasable space and an 11-acre parcel of land for possible future development. Inland says it has no expansion plans at this time.

In a second deal, Canyon-Johnson and partner Bond Cos. sold the recently completed Sunset+Vine mixed-use development, with 87,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, 300 apartments, an 833-space parking garage and 19 billboards for $165 million to SSR Realty, which has in that short time been acquired by BlackRock Inc.

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