Dealmakers:Thomas Angelo, Gavin Banta and Katherine Coba

The Deal: Angelo helped an affiliate of Miami-based American Land Ventures LLC obtain a $49.49 million construction loan to build a Class A apartment building on the New River in Fort Lauderdale. Regions Bank was the agent bank and City National Bank of Florida was the participant bank. The deal closed June 26.

Details: Angelo worked with American Land’s New River 3 Venture LLC for nearly a year trying to secure all the permits necessary to develop a 15-story, 209-unit high rise. The project, which will start shortly, would follow the 409-unit New River Village II and the 240-unit New River Village I, which American Land built on the river during the last real estate boom. The apartment building planned at 510 SE Fifth Ave. west of Federal Highway would be built on county-owned land subject to a ground lease with American Land.

Angelo played a key role bringing the lenders and the borrower together. He had long-time relationships with executives at Regions and City National and introduced them to American Land president Granvil Tracy. Negotiating the syndicated loan took about a month.

“But is was Regions who stepped up and had the terms which were most agreeable to the borrower,” he said.

Regions provided $34.49 million in funds, and City National pitched in the remaining $15 million.

Banta and Coba assisted Angelo in the negotiations, loan documents preparation and handling of title. They also assisted in preparing corporate documentation for the project.

What made the deal enticing to the lenders is the fact that Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. has a contract to buy the high rise once it is completed, Angelo said.

“The forward takeout agreement was very relevant to this transaction,” he said. “The borrower and the banks signed a tri-party agreement.”

The agreement was the security for the loan, Angelo said. MetLife will pay off the loan when it acquires the building.

A challenging aspect for Angelo was coordinating negotiations between MetLife and Regions on the tri-party agreement, he said.

“The bank is relying on the [MetLife] agreement to buy the property,” Angelo added. “The tri-party agreement was very critical to the process.”

The loan amount represents a large percentage of the construction cost, Angelo said. His client will be investing a small amount of equity in construction as the takeout agreement made the transaction less risky for the lenders, he said.

Quote: “I was fortunate that Regions was able to do the transaction and City National was able to participate,” Angelo said. “Regions and City National are very active construction lenders in the South Florida market.”

Background:Angelo is CEO and managing shareholder of Angelo & Banta in Fort Lauderdale. Banta is a shareholder and Coba an associate with the law firm.

Fort Lauderdale attorney Steve Katz, chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Fort Lauderdale real estate practice, represented MetLife.