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Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund to finance Boston work-force housing.

Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, Los Angeles, announced it will make its first investment in Boston by becoming the majority financier of a project to build work-force housing on a former industrial site in the Charlestown section of the city.

Located in the historic "Little Neck" section of Charlestown, the development is slated to transform the existing 1.9-acre industrial site into 146 condominium units adjacent to the Sullivan Square Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) train station.

The Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund--a joint venture between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC and Earvin "Magic" Johnson's Johnson Development Corporation, both based in Beverly Hills, California--has partnered locally on the project with Boston-based Cathartes Private Investments.

"Boston and the Charlestown submarket epitomize the type of densely populated, ethnically diverse communities in which our fund invests," said Canyon-Johnson Managing Partner Bobby Turner. "We are proud to be investing in Boston and teaming up with Cathartes to transform an underutilized industrial site and help provide much-needed market-rate and affordable housing."

When completed, the units will consist of urban loft-style homes, with open floor plans, oversized windows, high ceilings and polished concrete floors. Residents will have garage parking on the same level as their unit, a feature typically characteristic of the top luxury buildings, as well as a public courtyard, media and communications room and a fitness center, explained Jim Goldenberg, managing partner at Cathartes.

"We are very pleased that we were able to identify and acquire an underperforming property and create high-quality homes for hundreds of workers in Boston," said Goldenberg. "And we are proud to unite with the Canyon-Johnson team, who shares our vision and commitment to urban revitalization."

With Canyon-Johnson's investment, demolition of the site will proceed immediately, with the first residents expected to move in during the first quarter of 2008, said Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

"Canyon-Johnson believes that investing in urban America is good business, and in this case, we're going to be providing work-force housing in a part of the community that needs it most," said Johnson.
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Title Annotation:Commercial; development is slated to transform the existing 1.9-acre industrial site
Publication:Mortgage Banking
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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