NEW YORK CITY-Returning to an area that saw frequent investmentby the Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds at the height of the market, CJUFhas stepped in to help bring a Brooklyn condominium project tocompletion. The Los Angeles-based joint venture of Canyon CapitalRealty Advisors and an entity of Magic Johnson Enterprises isproviding a $22.6-million loan to the developers of the Isabella, a63-unit condo project at 545 Washington Ave. in Brooklyn’s ClintonHill section.

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CJUF’s loan to OL Washington LLC, an affiliate of Garden City,NY-based Ornstein & Leyton Co., will be used to acquireexisting construction and mezzanine loans and to completeconstruction on the project. It will also help launch an activesales and marketing campaign later this year; the Corcoran Grouphas been engaged to market units for sale upon completion of theproperty.

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“CJUF has years of experience and a number of investments inBrooklyn,” Bobby Turner, managing partner of CJUF, says in astatement. “We know this area well, and we are thrilled tocontribute to the continued growth and revitalization of thiscommunity.”

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The borough to which CJUF is returning has taken its lumps fromthe real estate downturn. According to the New York City Departmentof Buildings, Brooklyn leads the way in stalled construction sites.Of the 649 stalled sites citywide as of August 8, Brooklyn had 292,although the Isabela was not listed among them.

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In 2004, CJUF partnered with a local developer, Anderson &Associates, to build Park Place Condominium, an eight-story, 90,000square foot mixed-use project at 145 Park Pl., the site of theformer Brooklyn Tabernacle auditorium. The project consisted of 47market rate residential condominiums, 4,500 square feet of groundlevel retail and 25 underground parking spaces.

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A year later, CJUF undertook its largest-scale Brooklyn projectto date, the $71-million purchase with the Dermot Co. of theWilliamsburgh Savings Bank Tower at 1 Hanson Pl. in Fort Greene.The landmark 35-story tower, which dates from 1927, is now OneHanson Place, a condo development. It’s near Atlantic Terminal,Forest City Ratner Cos.’ MetroTech Center, the Brooklyn Academy ofMusic and what will eventually be FCRC’s Atlantic Yardsdevelopment.

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In 2007, CJUF provided $12.4 million of financing to help build110 Green St., a 130-unit condo project in Brooklyn’s Greenpointsection. “We are believers in Brooklyn as a place that iseconomically growing, healthy, entertaining and the place to be,”Earvin “Magic” Johnson said at the time.

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The Washington Avenue corridor in Clinton Hill was chock-a-blockwith new condo development when Johnson made that statement. OLWashington’s Isabella will provide a mix of studio,one‐bedroom, two‐bedroom and three-bedroomhomes, with an average unit size of 1,060 square feet and anaverage price of $530,000. It too will be located near AtlanticYards, as well as convenient to four subway lines.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.