The market for South Florida residential construction loans has grown tighter as some lenders head to the sidelines with so many projects in the pipeline.
But that didn’t stop a Miami team from Greenberg Traurig from securing $75 million in loans for a new apartment tower in Fort Lauderdale.
The Rise Flagler Village rising in the trendy Flagler Village is a 30-story, 348-unit apartment tower being built at 405 NE Second St. It’s near one of Starwood’s Element hotels, which is under construction and set to open later this year at 299 N. Federal Highway.
Greenberg Traurig real estate shareholder Marina Ross and associate Eric Fisher represented an affiliate of developer Encore Capital Management in securing the loan in a deal that closed Nov. 13.
Encore Capital, a Boca Raton-based real estate investment and development company founded by Art Falcone and Tony Avila, is developing the Fort Lauderdale tower as one of several apartment buildings under “The Rise” brand.
Falcone also is the founding principal of Miami Worldcenter, a nine-block, mixed-use project being built in downtown Miami.
As with other construction loans, this one came with a set of hurdles.
“The clients are very excited to get going with the project, so there’s always a tight timeline,” Ross said.
Despite the tight time frame and the cooling residential construction lending market in South Florida, the attorneys were able to close the deal on a project due for completion in 2021.
That in large part was thanks to the developer’s credibility and his existing relationship with the lenders, Ross said.
“Art Falcone is a reputable developer not only in Florida but across the country,” she said.
This deal was another opportunity to expand on the relationship between the borrower and the lenders, she added.
Some of Encore Capital’s other Rise projects are The Rise Central and The Rise Old Town in Portland, Oregon, The Rise Market in San Francisco, and The Rise Koreatown and The Rise Hollywood in Los Angeles, according to its website.
Its other South Florida projects are the existing Landmark at Doral, a luxury 631-unit building at 6500 NW 105th Court, and The Rise Plantation Walk, 700 apartments under construction in a larger 33-acre mixed-use project.
California-based Pacific Western Bank provided $57 million in financing, and New York-based Square Mile Capital Management LLC provided $18 million in mezzanine financing.
Los Angeles-based law firm Cox, Castle & Nicholson represented Pacific Western, and attorneys at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer in Washington, D.C, represented Square Mile.
The location of the new apartment tower is notable.
“Obviously … downtown Fort Lauderdale is always a sought-after market, so it’s an exciting rental project for this client,” Ross said.
Flagler Village is a downtown neighborhood that once was blocks of rundown warehouses and homes, but it has been experiencing a revival since the early 2000s and now is home to an arts district, restaurants, residential developments and the city’s Brightline high-speed rail station.