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NASHVILLE-One of the country’s most active urban funds has made its entrance into the metro market with Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund investing in the $65-million Terrazzo. The move also marks Canyon-Johnson’s first partnership with Charlotte, NC-based Crosland, Terrazzo’s developer.

The Los Angeles-based Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund is a JV between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and Magic Johnson, CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. A CJUF spokesman could not be reached by deadline to find out the dollar figure of the fund’s investment into Terrazzo.

The 14-story Terrazzo is rising in the Gulch, an arts redevelopment district Downtown. Ground broke in March on what is being billed as the first LEED pre-certified green residential high rise in the Southeast. The project’s first four floors will feature retail and office, with 10 floors of condominiums above. All total, Terrazzo will contain 109 units with prices ranging from the $290,000s to $1.6 million per unit. Move-ins are slated for fall 2008.

Terrazzo offers 26 floor plans in one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The condos will range in size from 900 sf to 3,300 sf. Amenities will include a pool terrace with outdoor pool and cabanas, fitness and cardio center, controlled access to the building, indoor bike parking and monitored underground parking. The Terrazzo will also offer 24-hour concierge services and wireless Internet in all common areas.

“I am excited about investing in Nashville, especially in a mixed-use project that will bring quality residential and retail uses to the Gulch, which is quickly becoming the place to be in this city,” Johnson said in a statement announcing the deal. “Canyon-Johnson believes that investing in urban America is great business, and Terrazzo absolutely meets our objectives to revitalize urban areas, create jobs and stimulate development in key communities.”

According to Bobby Turner, CJUF’s managing partner, the fund’s strategy is to partner with local developers, and take significant financial positions in projects which are poised for or already experiencing revitalization. “We have long felt too many real estate developers and investors were ignoring urban America despite enormous opportunities. We continue to find those opportunities and join with forward-thinking developers, like Crosland, who are playing a leadership role in revitalizing urban centers, including the Gulch,” he said.

In addition to its investment into the Terrazzo, CJUF also donated $10,000 to the Art Trunk program at the First Center for the Visual Arts in the Gulch. “We are thrilled to have a partner of the quality and commitment of Canyon-Johnson,” said Ned Long, chief financial officer for Crosland. “They embrace the vision we’ve outlined for Terrazzo and the overall renaissance of the Gulch.”

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