Elizabeth Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Joan Rivers: No true icon can sustain a glamorous life without some drama and a makeover or two along the way.
Weeks after buying Icon's debt, the hotel has been brought under the new ownership of Magic Johnson's Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund and Centurion Partners after consensual foreclosure proceedings that were completed Tuesday morning for a reported $27 million.
It's not the first project in Houston by Magic's company, which also owns the revamping Marq*E Center near the intersection of I-10 and West Loop 610.
The new ownership plan for Hotel Icon, which Canyon Capital Realty Advisors managing partner Bobby Turner calls "a struggling hotel asset with enormous potential" includes cosmetic and technological upgrades to the 135 guest rooms at the historic 1911 property.
In addition the partnership is planning a franchise agreement with "a major luxury national hotel chain" for rebranding and the addition of a more effective reservation system and loyalty program. Both changes are expected to be implemented within the next six months.
“Houston is a great city, and we believe our repositioning plans will benefit the surrounding community both by re‐energizing Hotel Icon and helping to support more than 100 jobs at this incredible property,” Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the former NBA superstar turned business tycoon, said in a press release.
In addition to forays into the hospitality industry including the Washington Hilton, Hotel 71 in Chicago, and the W Austin Hotel and Residences, the Hotel Icon acquisition seems to be part of a concerted effort for CJUF to expand its portfolio by taking advantage of a opportunities for bargains due to the economic climate.
Says Canyon's managing director Richard Bosworth, “We are coming across many excellent hotel assets and repositioning opportunities that are in need of recapitalization. In the case of Hotel Icon, the underlying asset is perfectly capable of successfully performing in today’s economic climate with the right capital structure."