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Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and Cathartes Private Investments Bring ''Magic'' to C

Mr Roger K. Olsson | 20.09.2007 14:07 | Analysis | Other Press | Technology | London | World

Giuen Media

Thursday, September 20, 2007

BOSTON, Sep. 20, 2007 (Business Wire) -- Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund joined with local partner Cathartes Private Investments, Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill and students from the Boston Partners in Education program this morning to officially preview Mezzo Design Lofts, a transit-oriented workforce housing development featuring 146 condominium units adjacent to the Sullivan Square MBTA station in Charlestown, Mass.

This project marks the first investment in Boston by the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, the nation's largest real estate investment fund platform focused on urban revitalization throughout America. The fund is a joint venture between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and Earvin 'Magic' Johnson. Mezzo Design Lofts is a partnership between the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and Cathartes Private Investments, a private real estate and investment company headquartered in Boston, Mass.

Located at 30 Caldwell St. in Charlestown, Mass., convenient to Boston public transportation and Interstate 93 N/S, Mezzo Design Lofts will offer studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom urban loft-style condominiums ranging in size from 600 to 1,500 square feet, most providing Juliette balconies with ground floor units boasting private patios. The units are priced from the low $300,000s to high $600,000s and will feature open floor plans, expansive oversized windows, nine foot high ceilings and finished concrete floors. Move-ins are expected in the final quarter of 2007.

'As Chair of the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, which invested in this project, I am excited to see this plan becoming reality,' said Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill. 'This partnership between Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and Cathartes Private Investments will improve our neighborhoods and benefit Massachusetts citizens.'

Canyon-Johnson partner Earvin 'Magic' Johnson said, 'I am excited about investing in the Boston area. Canyon-Johnson believes that investing in urban America is good business, and in this case, we're going to be providing workforce housing in a part of the community that needs it most.'

Mezzo Design Lofts will offer an innovative interior design program called i-design. Esteemed home furnishing retailers West Elm, Brocade Home and BoConcept(R) have teamed up with Mezzo Design Lofts to offer residents a choice of home furnishings and accessories through three different design styles. Additional items will also be available from Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel.

The i-design interior design program allows residents to customize their own home, choosing furniture, lighting, drapery, carpets along with other accessories through three different design concepts - classic, vintage and modern. The best part - residents' design choices are included in their financing package. Residents will receive a two-hour complimentary design consultation with Mezzo Design Lofts' professional designer who will work together and help guide residents to create stylish customized spaces in their new home. Residents can also mix-and-match between each of the three styles.

Mezzo Design Lofts will also offer an array of amenities including a lush 8,000 square-foot landscaped courtyard; a state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center featuring strength training and cardiovascular equipment; a media/community room with a high-definition large screen TV and multi-media equipment available to residents and secured on-sight garage parking.

'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 team up with a quality company like Cathartes to bring quality workforce housing to this neighborhood and transform an underutilized industrial site in the process.'

'With both Cathartes and Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund rooted in community development, we have formed a natural partnership,' says Jim Goldenberg, principal at Cathartes Private Investments. He continues, 'We both bring a strong knowledge of specific locations within a community, a deep understanding of the specific needs and goals of a community, a working knowledge of urban operations and a strong in-house team of professionals. It has been a pleasure working with Mr. Johnson and his team.'

As part of today's launch, Earvin 'Magic' Johnson greeted Charlestown students involved in the Boston Partners in Education's Big Cheese Reads program, the nation's first CEO-driven academic mentoring campaign designed to build the bridge between reading and career success. The Boston Partners in Education also received a donation on behalf of the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and Cathartes Private Investments to further the Big Cheese Reads initiative throughout Boston's public schools.

The first residents are expected to move into Mezzo Design Lofts during the fourth quarter of 2007.

For more information on Mezzo Design Lofts, visit or call the sales office at 617-242-0999.

About Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds - Los Angeles, CA

The Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds are a joint venture between the Los Angeles-based Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and basketball-legend-turned-urban-entrepreneur Earvin 'Magic' Johnson. The funds were formed to identify, enhance and capture value through the development and redevelopment of real estate in densely populated, ethnically diverse urban communities. CJUF's objectives are to seek current income and capital appreciation and to provide for and foster economic opportunities for the residents of the urban neighborhoods in which it invests. With nearly $1 billion in committed equity capital, CJUF is positioned to facilitate more than $4 billion in development and revitalization in major U.S. metropolitan areas.

About Cathartes Private Investments - Boston, MA

Cathartes Private Investments (Cathartes) is a private real estate and investment company headquartered in Boston, Mass., that specializes in acquiring, developing, and managing multi-family residential and commercial properties. Since its inception in 1992, Cathartes has developed more than five million square-feet of residential and commercial real estate worth more than $600 million throughout New England and the New York metropolitan areas. Cathartes has built a solid reputation on transforming underutilized urban areas into vibrant neighborhoods where people live, work and play and is currently developing more than 1,000 homes in communities adjacent to train stations. These neighborhoods are based on the principles of 'Smart Growth' and 'New Urbanism,' encouraging a pedestrian-oriented lifestyle.

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