Prudential Real Estate Investors has completed the final close for its fourth senior housing fund, Senior Housing Partners IV, bringing the total amount to $568 million of discretionary capital secured from institutional investors. This is the largest senior housing fund ever for the firm. PREI is the real estate investment and advisory business of Prudential Financial, Inc.

“There is a growing need for seniors housing in the United States and the demand for high-quality properties that offer a variety of services and accommodations is on the rise,” Noah Levy, managing director with PREI and portfolio manager of the fund, said in a statement. “We expect this demand will continue to increase and we look forward to providing an attractive return for our investors over the long-term.”

The closed-end fund will target investments in seniors housing, including independent living, assisted living and memory care properties as well as communities that offer a combination of those services. It will focus on direct and joint venture acquisitions of existing properties, forward commitments on newly constructed properties, mezzanine loans and development.

PREI opened its first seniors housing fund, Senior Housing Partners I, in 1998 and has been investing on behalf of investors ever since, following up with Senior Housing Partners II and Senior Housing Partners III.

In conjunction with the closing of the new fund, PREI has hired Steve Blazejewski as a principal on the seniors housing team to expand the group’s capabilities. He has a strong background in the senior housing industry.

Before joining PREI, Blazejewski worked for Health Care REIT Inc., where he was vice president of seniors housing, and as a vice president with CSH LLC, an affiliate of The Carlyle Group. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business. He is based in Atlanta and reports to John Dark, managing director of senior housing.

“Steve brings the kind of experience and industry knowledge that will help PREI to identify and target the types of senior housing opportunities that will expand our ability to execute on behalf of our clients,” Dark said in a statement.