Canyon-Johnson to enter DC market

The Los Angeles-based fund, tied to basketball legend Magic Johnson, will partner with a developer to build a 266-unit project as part of an urban revitalization in the city’s Southeast quadrant.

The Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, a joint venture between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s Johnson Development,  is making its inaugural move into Washington DC, investing in the first condominium complex in recent history planned for the city’s transitioning Southeast quadrant.
Canyon-Johnson will partner with Charlotte, North Carolina-based developer Faison Enterprises on the project—a firm with significant experience in the DC area.

Located less than two miles from the Capitol building, the 266-unit condo complex will be next to the Navy Yard metro station and within blocks of the site for the planned new stadium for the Washington Nationals, the city’s professional baseball team. Part of a larger neighborhood revitalization effort in the once blighted area, the mixed-use project will also include offices that will be developed separately.

“Our investment in Washington DC is consistent with our approach to fund value-oriented opportunities in urban America,” Canyon-Johnson managing partner Bobby Turner said in a statement. “The Near Southeast submarket of Washington is exactly the type of densely populated, ethnically diverse market in which our fund invests. We are confident that this investment will accelerate the redevelopment of this traditionally underserved area.”

In addition to easy access to public transit and an improvement in the neighborhood’s employment base due to the relocation of US Department of Transportation’s headquarters, the pending redevelopment of the Navy Yard and planned infrastructure improvements to cope with the new stadium will also likely benefit the project, Canyon-Johnson and Faison officials noted.

Aimed at entry level professionals, the complex will include an underground parking garage, courtyard, game room and pool. The average size of a unit is 725 square feet and most will be priced around $300,000. Located on the corner of First Street and L Street, the project is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2008.