Magic Johnson’s company, Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds (CJUF), recently sprinkled $22.6 million of magic dust on Clinton Hill. It all landed on Isabella, a 63-unit condo project that has been stalled for over a year. The units will sell for $350K to $850K, according to Crain’s.
This is not CJUF’s first endeavor in Brooklyn. It also invested in the 178-unit One Hanson Place (the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building), the Viridian (a 130-unit building in Greenpoint), and the 47-unit Park Place Condominiums in Park Slope.
All told, CJUF has sprinkled magic dust on 418 pricey condos in Brooklyn, and not one unit of affordable housing.
CJUF is doing this all over the country. According to its website, it has invested in projects in California, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, Georgia, Illinois and Texas. There is no mention of affordable housing in any of these projects.
CJUF states its goal as “urban revitalization.” And it “looks for sites with more than 250,000 people within a five-mile radius and where minorities account for at least 40 percent of the population.”
These condos will revitalize urban neighborhoods by pricing out all of the minority people who cannot afford to live in them.
Johnson pursues urban revitalization with his company, Magic Johnson Enterprises, too. According to Success magazine, it focuses on “underserved and ethnically diverse urban communities.”
Johnson “owns or operates gyms, movie theaters and other businesses in 89 cities across 21 states,” including 125 Starbucks franchises. And his “company’s estimated net worth is in excess of $700 million.”
Johnson’s desire to sprinkle magic dust on Clinton Hill and other Brooklyn areas coincides with downtown Brooklyn’s rezoning and development plan.
But where are the little guys in all of Magic’s plans? They don’t seem to be getting dusted.
Amanda Fung, “Magic Johnson helps Brooklyn condo come back,” Crain’s
Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, “Investment Highlights”
Don Yeagher, “Magic Johnson’s Fast Break Into Business,” Success Magazine