MetLife Lends $144M to Finance Orlando Office Trio

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Southwest Value Partners has sealed a $144 million mortgage to finance the acquisition of a portfolio of three Orlando, Fla. office buildings, according to an announcement from the lender, MetLife Investment Management.

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The five-year cross-collateralized loan supported the purchase of Bank of America Center, Citrus Center and One Orlando Centre—all situated downtown. Bank of America Center, at 28 stories, and Citrus Center, at 19 stories, are among the tallest buildings in the city.

Combined, the three properties, which total over 1 million square feet, sold for $208 million, The Orlando Sentinel reported. All three had been in the hands of Cousins Properties, a real estate investment trust based in Atlanta.

Eastdil Secured brokered the transaction.

“This deal came about via our relationship with Eastdil and our familiarity with the Orlando office market,” Gary Dinka, a MetLife managing director, wrote in an email. “The good locations, diverse rent rolls and strong sponsorship with fresh equity were just some of the elements of the deal that were attractive to us.”

Tenants at the Bank of America building include its namesake bank as well as Broad and Cassel, a law firm with ten offices throughout Florida.

Like the Bank of America tower in 1987, the Citrus Center was Orlando’s tallest building when it topped out in 1971. Its suites host law firms and construction and engineering companies.

Southwest Value Partners, based in San Diego, maintains a diverse portfolio across regions and asset classes, including hotels, office buildings and multifamily developments in California, Arizona and the Midwest. In addition to the Orlando portfolio, it owns a DoubleTree hotel in Sunrise, Fla., about ten miles west of Fort Lauderdale.

The deal immediately made Southwest Value Partners the second largest Orlando landlord, the Sentinel reported. The firm was founded by Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns.

Representatives from Southwest Value Partners and Eastdil did not respond to requests for comment.

With additional reporting by Mack Burke.