By Ryan Velez
The infrastructure issue in America and beyond is one that has been building and building over decades, as the bridges, roads, and other structures that we use every day fall into decay, despite the fact that there is a ripe potential for job creation by helping improve and repair what we already have. The New York Post reports that a newcomer is throwing their hat into the infrastructure ring: former NBA great Magic Johnson.
Johnson, along with Jim Reynolds, CEO of the global investment firm Loop Capital Markets, recently launched the JLC Infrastructure Fund and are looking for partners and projects. In fact, they have already begun, working on the development of a terminal at the new Denver airport.
“I’m excited about infrastructure because this will happen for the next 25 years because we will be rebuilding America,” Johnson said at a global finance and infrastructure forum at the Bloomberg Building. At the moment, the exact nature of the rollout for this plan hasn’t been revealed, but Johnson confirmed that the fund will be focusing on mom-and-pop businesses, as well as minorities and women.
This interest in infrastructure is a timely one, as President Donald Trump has said that growing investments in American infrastructure is something that he is looking to implement across the country. This includes a promise to invest $1 trillion in key infrastructure systems through a combination of public and private funding. Reynolds, who was not a Trump supporter during the election, told the Post that he was excited about hearing the plan. “I never heard anyone say that before,” Reynolds said, later declaring infrastructure is “not Democrat and not Republican, but the basic needs of the citizenry.”
Since leaving the NBA, Magic Johnson has had quite the degree of success as a businessman, eclipsing the earnings from his basketball career. As chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, he has investments valued at $1 billion and is a part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. More recently, he also became president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Some are already excited about the venture, including Kentucky governor Matt Bevin, who said he is open to leasing everything from rest stops on Interstate highways to facilities at state parks. He said that should the plan succeed, “We won’t refer to it as Urban America anymore but as Earvin America.”