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Magic Johnson is getting out of the coffee business. Given other recent transactions involving the Dream Teamer, this could be the beginning of an exodus of Johnson-owned businesses from our area.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Johnson, who made Prince George’s County one of his early targets along the way to developing his post-NBA pro-minority-business-ownership persona, sold his 105 Starbucks franchises back to the corporation. He has owned at least four Starbucks in the D.C. market.
Johnson opened his first Starbucks in P.G. County in Hyattsville in March 2000, and subsequently put franchises in Largo, The Boulevard at the Capital Centre (on the site of impoded arena where he and the Lakers used to crush the Bullets once a year) and Rivertown Commons.
The NBA all-timer also opened up a Washington Mutual Home Loan Center and an eponymous movie megaplex in Prince George’s. He’s made frequent appearances over the years promoting the county with its chief executive, Jack Johnson.
Former Bullets/Wizards owner Abe Pollin was a big supporter of Johnson’s local efforts. Johnson became the first tenant to sign a lease when Pollin’s Capital Centre site was developed for retail.
The Starbucks divestiture comes right after Johnson unloaded his stake in the Los Angeles Lakers to a well-heeled fan, and as Johnson is rumored to be drumming up cash while he’s on the prowl for an NBA team or some other sports franchise to buy. He still owns AMC Magic Johnson Theaters and the home loan outfit in the county.