second career champion

To the rescue: Magic Johnson sets out to revitalize the ailing Houston Pavilions

To the rescue: Magic Johnson sets out to revitalize the ailing Houston Pavilions

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Built in 2008 to bolster a quiet corner of downtown Houston, the mixed-use development floundered during the economic crisis. Photo by Jack Opatrny
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After a successful run with the aging Marq*E entertainment complex off I-10, the former NBA star is hoping for another hit with the Pavilions. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Places-Unique-Houston Pavilions-night-1
News_Magic Johnson

So, the future of the embattled Houston Pavilions may not be so murky after all, thanks to financial support from the one and only Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

The NBA legend's Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds (CJUF) announced a joint venture with Midway — the Houston real estate firm behind the thriving CityCentre development — to acquire the massive downtown mixed-use project.

Working with Midway, Canyon-Johnson hopes to continue its Bayou City winning streak by investing an undisclosed sum to revitalize the Houston Pavilions with fresh batch of  leaseholders.

Built in 2008 as a means to breathe life into a relatively quiet part of downtown, the Houston Pavilions had a rocky start at the height of the economic downturn, but managed to gather a host of high-profile tenants like House of Blues, Forever XXI, Lucky Strike and NRG Energy, which maintains a full 11 stories of office space.

Nevertheless, the development went into receivership in late 2011 after the original owners failed to make loan payments for more than a year.

“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," said Johnson and CJUF business partner Bobby Turner in a statement Monday. "The support we have received from the City of Houston’s leadership makes projects like this a possibility.”

A prominent urban revitalizer in his post-basketball career, Johnson and his company have enjoyed success with two Houston projects in recent years, buying and rebranding the Hotel Icon and revamping the Marq*E center.

Working with Midway, CJUF hopes to continue its Bayou City winning streak by investing an undisclosed sum to revitalize the Houston Pavilions with a fresh batch of leaseholders.