GCM Grosvenor has committed $50 million to a woman-owned real estate fund, American South Real Estate Fund II, on behalf of several pension funds.
The $246.3 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, is one of the pension funds that indirectly invested in ASREF II through GCM. The other pension funds were not named.
ASREF II is an impact fund focused on building affordable housing and revitalizing distressed communities of color in the American South. The majority (81%) of projects financed by ASREF II and its predecessor, ASREF I, have been affordable housing units.
"ASREF cannot grow if we are unable to secure public pension fund capital – it's that simple," said Deborah La Franchi, ASFM Managing Partner and Founder and CEO of SDS Capital Group, in a statement. "ASREF could not tap into this capital without the GCM Grosvenor platform, which suballocates and bundles pension fund capital into amounts scaled for the smaller-sized funds of emerging managers such as ASFM."
ASREF II, managed by American South Fund Management – a joint venture between SDS Capital Group and Vintage Realty – closed with $174 million in equity commitments. The fund will provide equity for real estate projects in 10 southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
"We are so fortunate to partner with ASFM in delivering affordable housing to communities that need it most," said Peter Braffman, Managing Director, real estate investments, at GCM Grosvenor, in the statement. "The ASREF II investment closely aligns with our focus on identifying firms representing compelling strategic partnerships, and we look forward to the opportunity the fund presents to deliver positive outcomes to our investors."