Canyon Capital Realty Advisors, a Los Angeles-based provider of financing for property development, said Thursday that it had formed a $250-million venture with former state Treasurer Phil Angelides and another partner to buy land for homes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The River Canyon venture plans to acquire lots from home builders and lenders looking to sell holdings because of the U.S. housing slump, said Bobby Turner, managing partner of Canyon. Turner said the venture also would provide equity capital to land-development companies.

"There's going to be a tremendous opportunity to acquire land relatively cheaply over the next couple of years," Turner said. "Home sales are still looking very weak. We'll focus on markets we believe will rebound quickly," including California, Florida and other Sun Belt states as well as the Pacific Northwest.

Canyon and an affiliate committed $250 million to the venture, Turner said. Riverview Capital Investments, a Sacramento-based firm owned by Angelides, and River West Investments, headed by Brian C. Vail, will find investments and Vail's firm will prepare the land for resale to home builders, Turner said.

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