BBVA Provides $37M Construction Loan for Florida Resi Project

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A Florida developer has nabbed a $37.3 million construction loan from BBVA Compass to kick off work on a new multifamily project on the state’s Atlantic coast, Commercial Observer can exclusively report.

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A Colliers International brokerage team led by Jeffrey Donnelly and Dmitry Levkov arranged the financing, according to a Colliers spokesman. The lender, based in Birmingham, Ala., is a subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, a multinational banking group based in Bilbao, Spain.

Northshore Development, the Orlando-headquartered development company behind the project, is building the 320-unit multifamily complex in Palm Bay, Fla., about 60 miles southeast of Orlando. The city of about 100,000 lies along the southern portion of Florida’s Space Coast region, named for the John F. Kennedy Space Center on nearby Merritt Island. The project, to be called Aqua Residences, will include apartments ranging from studios to three-bedrooms.

A rendering of the project shows four residential buildings that will encircle a natural pond on the development plot. The complex will include a pool, a dog park, outdoor exercise equipment and parking with electric-vehicle charging. Work has been underway since earlier this summer, Levkov said, and should wrap up by the end of 2019.

The Colliers broker said that in the midst of a tight market for construction financing, only the most highly attractive projects have managed to entice institutional lenders off the sidelines.

“Construction money has obviously been challenging,” Levkov said. “However, we find that good sponsors—bankable sponsors—and good real estate always take precedence with banks. Once you shade in those…boxes, you actually have a good shot and finding construction money.”

A December 2017 report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development on the area’s residential market noted strengthening economic fundamentals.

Brevard County, which contains Palm Bay, saw its unemployment rate drop to 4.4 percent as it added 7,000 jobs last year. At the time of the report, the rental vacancy rate was 8.4 percent—40 percent lower than during the Great Recession. Even after NASA retired the space shuttle in 2011, aeronautics remains a prime industry in the area, which hosts a Northrup Grumman campus as well as NASA’s Cape Canaveral facility.

Demand for health care driven by a big population of elderly residents has also given the regional economy a jolt, according to the federal housing department.

Representatives from BBVA Compass and Northshore Development did not immediately respond to inquiries.