Magic Johnson Riding to the Rescue of Houston Pavilions

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The company partly owned by LA Laker and Rocket-killer Magic Johnson has purchased the semi-troubled downtown Houston Pavilions, according to an announcement today.

Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds will take over the project, which covers three city blocks and includes the House of Blues, Forever XXI, McCormick & Schmick's and Lucky Strike.

The Johnson firm and Midway "will invest additional funds to revitalize the property," which has not quite taken off as the downtown-booster it was initially envisioned as a few years ago.

Steps have been announced before -- NBC Sports, for instance, has said it's considering placing a studio there with a view to the city streets, so fans can get the unutterable thrill of standing in front of a camera waving a "Hi, Mom" sign.

Johnson and CJU managing partner Bobby Turner issued a joint statement: "We are both proud to be investing in Houston again, and to be partnering with Midway to maximize the potential of such an incredible mixed-use asset. The support we have received from the City of Houston's leadership makes projects like this a possibility."

No dollar figure for the transaction has been released.

CJUF also has the Marq*E Entertainment Center, and the way it describes the Pavilions makes it seem a no-brainer:

n area that is currently experiencing a renaissance due to $3 billion in new development over the last decade, along with a particularly strong leasing market and the City's desire to re-energize the central business district. The Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park, the George R. Brown Convention Center and several upscale hotels are also nearby. The property is also steps away from the Main Street Light Rail system, which traverses 7.5 miles through Downtown Houston.

Of course, it was a no-brainer to those who came before CJUF, too.

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