Asana Partners is targeting a $400m (€361m) capital raise for its debut real estate fund.

The start-up fund manager, founded by former EDENS executives, has already attracted investment from the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS).

Asana, founded by Terry Brown, who was chief executive for EDENS for 13 years, is planning a first close for the fund this month, according to the pension fund board meeting documents

Asana is planning to make a co-investment into the fund of 1% all GP commitments, up to $5m.

Total commitments of $100m to $120m are initially being sought, according to a report by The Townsend Group.

LACERS is looking to allocate $25m (€22.6m) to the fund.

The fund will look to invest in US assets that can produce net returns of 11% to 13% over a full market cycle. The fund has a 60% target range for leverage, capped at 65% of the fund level.

Townsend said that the kind of retail Asana invests in is fragmented, undercapitalised and non-institutional. The fund will also consider buying traditional neighbourhood centres and other retail-driven opportunities.

Additional value will be created by making physical improvements, transforming the tenant mix and improving operating efficiencies.

Townsend evaluated Acadia Fund V as the closest comparable fund to Asana’s Fund I.

The consultant wrote that Acadia’s focus on less affordable major gateway markets with lower average population growth and lower cap rates, as well as Acadia’s higher fees and a lower target return, make the fund less attractive than Asana.

The planned commitment by LACERS will help the pension fund increase its retail exposure. As of March of this year, the pension fund had invested 13.5% of its portfolio in retail, compared with the NFI-ODCE exposure of 19.7%.