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Canyon-Johnson and Centurion Partners, Owners of the 135-room Hotel ICON in
Houston, Texas Launch $5 Million Renovation and Selection of the Marriott
Autograph Flag for the Property Managed by Sage Hospitality

HOUSTON, Oct. 17, 2011 -- Since acquiring the Hotel ICON in downtown Houston earlier this year, joint venture partners Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds and Centurion Partners have implemented a comprehensive repositioning program that includes a $5 million renovation of the property, the selection of Marriott Autograph as a new flag, and the rebranding of the hotel's restaurant.

The Marriott team is currently implementing the brand's proven reservation system, along with marketing and loyalty programs to help boost occupancy at the 12-story hotel. Earlier this year, Canyon and Centurion Partners selected Sage Hospitality to oversee day-to-day operations at the property.

Renovations have already begun at Hotel ICON, including upgrades to the property's 135 guest rooms, enhanced TV and technology systems, and other aesthetic improvements.  The restaurant is also currently undergoing a transformation. Recently renamed "LINE & LARIAT," the dining room and bar now feature an innovative menu with modern Texas cuisine and cocktails. The restaurant will soon undergo a redesign as well.

"We are proud to be investing in Houston again, and to be working alongside Centurion Partners and an experienced operator like Sage Hospitality to maximize the potential of an extraordinarily unique hotel asset," said Bobby Turner, Managing Partner of Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds. "Marriott is a powerful brand, and I am confident that the reflagging, coupled with our program of upgrades, will help take the hotel to new heights. This investment will help restore a treasured icon for generations to come."

"We at CJUF are big believers in Houston, and we are excited to be bringing new life to such a beautiful hotel in the heart of Downtown," said Canyon-Johnson partner Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "Investing in Hotel ICON and its future supports not only the hard-working people who are employed at the hotel and restaurant, but the local economy as well."

Originally built as the Union National Bank building 100 years ago and converted to a hotel in January 2004, Hotel ICON is located at the corner of Main Street and Congress Street in downtown Houston, just steps away from top business and leisure attractions in the area, including the George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green, the Toyota Center and Market Square. It is also the only downtown hotel with a stop on the 7.5-mile, state-of-the-art METRORail line, which services the Museum District, Rice University, Hermann Park, Texas Medical Center and the Reliant Center convention facility and sports complex.

"Hotel ICON sits in a unique location in downtown Houston, which is widely viewed as one of the most strategic hospitality markets in the country," said Canyon Managing Director Richard Bosworth. "We are thrilled to be building off of the extensive renovations from 2006 and repositioning the hotel under the Marriott Autograph flag to help maximize the potential of this incredible property."

"What better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this historic property than to reinvigorate it with a comprehensive program of upgrades and a new brand name. These repositioning efforts will help make Hotel ICON a premier luxury hotel destination in the city," said Centurion Co-Founding Partner Scot Matteson. "Canyon has proven to be a wonderful joint venture partner, and we are looking forward to finishing these exciting renovations."

"We are proud to be overseeing an asset of this caliber and to be working with the Canyon-Centurion team as they take the hotel to new heights," said Walter Isenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sage Hospitality. "The downtown Houston market is evolving, and we are excited to see how these upgrades will help add to the vitality of the surrounding neighborhood."

Hotel ICON's 135 guestrooms include nine different custom-appointed suites with spacious tiled bathrooms, rain showers, Jacuzzis and antique claw-foot bathtubs. Additional amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness facility and a three-level parking garage with 117 stalls operated as secure, covered valet parking for guests. Hotel ICON also features 7,750 square feet of unique event space, including a 2,263 square-foot ballroom and private wine cellar.

About Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds
The Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds (CJUF) are one of the country's largest private real estate funds focused on the development of urban properties in underserved neighborhoods. A joint venture between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and an entity of Earvin "Magic" Johnson's Magic Johnson Enterprises, the funds were formed to identify, enhance and capture value through the development and redevelopment of real estate in densely populated, ethnically diverse urban communities. Fundamental to Canyon-Johnson's investment thesis is its commitment to a "triple bottom line" philosophy of achieving superior financial results, fostering opportunities within urban communities, and embracing environmental responsibility. With nearly $2 billion in committed equity capital, the funds are positioned to facilitate more than $8 billion in development and revitalization in major U.S. metropolitan areas. For more information, visit

About Centurion Partners
Comprised of seasoned experts in the industry, Centurion Partners' executive team has over 150 years of combined real estate experience. Its professionals possess the full range of property development and financial expertise to take advantage of complex opportunities in some of the world's most desirable markets. Centurion Partners' executive team has management experience with internationally renowned companies, overseeing projects and investments worth billions of dollars.

With their expertise and key relationships in all facets of the industry, Centurion Partners is developing some of the most cutting-edge, luxury properties in the Western United States.

Founded in 2001 by Michael Smith and Scot Matteson, Centurion Partners is headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with additional offices in San Diego, California; Aspen, Colorado; and Miami, Florida. For more information, visit

About Autograph Collection
Autograph Collection is an evolving ensemble of strikingly independent luxury hotels. Curated for the curious, each destination has been selected for its bold originality, rich character and uncommon details. From near to far, iconic to historic, the result is a unique array of properties that is nothing less than completely eclectic, nothing short of collectively exceptional. For more information please visit Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at, and for the latest company news, visit

About Sage Hospitality
Founded in 1984, Sage Hospitality has strategically grown into one of the largest privately held hotel management and ownership companies in the nation operating a variety of large, full-service hotels as well as extended stay and select-service properties. Sage Hospitality's comprehensive portfolio includes major international brands such as Marriott, Sheraton, Renaissance, and Westin, and as well as independent boutique hotels. Sage Hospitality has further differentiated with the creation of the Sage Restaurant Group, which has created and is managing 10 unique restaurant concepts including the acclaimed Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago. For more information, please visit

Steve Sugerman
Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds
Web Site:

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