Fort Partners Nabs $56M ACORE Loan to Refi New South Florida Resort

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ACORE Capital has provided a $56 million mortgage to refinance a just-opened luxury resort in South Florida, Commercial Observer can exclusively report.

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The loan went to property owner Fort Partners for its new Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club in Surfside, Fla., a locale on the northern part of the barrier islands that forms Miami’s Atlantic Ocean coastline. The five-year loan represents new first-lien debt. Fort Partners received $290 million in debt from Blackstone to fund the hotel’s construction four years ago.

HFF brokered the debt on behalf of Fort Partners, ACORE said.

The 77-room lodging occupies an eight-acre oceanside plot, the former site of a surf club that dated to the 1930s. The redevelopment of the site, directed by architect Richard Meier, surrounded the original clubhouse building with three translucent, 12-story glass towers: the new Four Seasons hotel building, and two structures filled with residential condominium units.

Warren de Haan, one of ACORE’s founders, said that after narrowly missing out on the chance to finance the resort’s construction, his debt fund’s enthusiasm for the project, and its strong relationship with Fort Partners, helped close the deal this time around. In May, ACORE lent Fort Partners $135 million to finance a major renovation at another Florida Four Seasons the landlord controls, in Palm Beach.

“We have long been enamoured with what this borrower is doing: not only the development of the Four Seasons in Bal Harbour, but also the Four Seasons in Palm Beach,” de Haan said. “For the Surf Club, it was really, in some sense, the juxtaposition between the old clubhouse—which they kept in place and restored—and [the fact that] they literally built around it modern, spectacular glass towers” that caught the lender’s attention.

“It follows our basic business plan of making loans to strong sponsors with phenomenal real estate, and a business plan we think will get executed,” de Haan added.

Representatives for Fort Partners did not immediately respond to inquiries.