Until I moved to Los Angeles, I didn’t know that Magic Johnson made most of his money from real estate. If it’s a young basketball player’s dream to make it to the NBA; it should be a rookie NBA player’s dream to make it in real estate like Magic Johnson has.
You can read about Magic Johnson’s basketball career or his battle with AIDS from many publications, so today I’m going to assume you’re already quite familiar with those aspects of his life and focus on his real estate and business acumen.
At one point, Magic Johnson, through his company Magic Johnson Enterprises, has had interest in Starbucks, Burger King, T.G.I. Friday’s, Sodexo, the Los Angeles Lakers, movie theaters, health clubs, and housing developments across the U.S.
Many of his efforts have been focused around building real estate developments in lower-income communities. He formed the Canyon-Jonson Urban Fund in 2001 which has financed 31 real estate developments in 13 states.
The Canyon-Johnson fund was also involved in the $100-million purchase of the 32-story former Transamerica Center complex in downtown Los Angeles that was later renovated and sold for $205 million. Another notable piece of Los Angeles real estate that Magic Johnson was involved with was the Sunset+Vine in Hollywood, which was built for $125 million and sold for $160 million.
Johnson is a Hall-of-Fame basketball player, philanthropist, real estate developer, and author. In 1992, he published My Life, but even before then, he had previously written two books about himself and the game, 1983’s Magic and 1989’s Magic’s Touch. In 2008, he shared his secrets for success with the book 32 Ways to be a Champion in Business, and quickly after that Johnson reteamed with Larry Bird to write the 2009 book When the Game Was Ours, which explores their rivalry on the basketball court.
While young basketball players can look at Magic Johnson’s career on the court and hope to be there one day themselves, aspiring real estate developers can safely hope the same thing about his business career. For more information, check out www.magicjohnson.com/enterprises.
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