Capital One Lends $84M in Florida Resi Acquisition

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The buyers of a large residential development in Central Florida landed an $84 million loan from Capital One Multifamily Finance to pull off the transaction, Commercial Observer can exclusively report.

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The debt backs a pair of property managers, NorthEnd Equities and Residential Management, in their purchase of The Park at Sienna, a sprawling project about ten miles east of Tampa. Akiva Friend and Abe Hirsch of Meridian Capital Group acted as brokers on the 10-year Freddie Mac loan, which features an interest-only structure over the first half of its term.

The property was formerly known as The Reserve at Brandon. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the name change coincided with the recent acquisition.

Forty-two bilevel and three-story buildings host nearly a thousand apartments at The Park, ranging from one- to three-bedroom units. Photos of the property show shady landscaped acreage that features ponds, tennis courts, a resident clubhouse and three swimming pools.

In a statement, Friend described a last-minute switcheroo that he said saved the borrowers from taking on unnecessary interest-rate risk.

“When the sponsors initially approached us about this deal, we sourced a Freddie Mac floating-rate loan and were able to lock in a favorable fixed-rate equivalent before the 10-year Treasury climbed to its recent high-water mark,” he explained. “As we got closer to closing, however, the 10-year Treasury dropped drastically, creating an opportunity to secure an extremely low[-rate] 10-year…loan.”

The complex’s address, 1918 Plantation Key Circle, places it about half a mile from the Westfield Brandon Shopping Center, a major mall for the western suburbs of Florida’s second-biggest metro area after Miami. The mall was part of a $1.28 billion shopping portfolio that retail giant Westfield formed with O’Connor Capital Partners in 2013—a deal partially financed through CMBS. But the Brandon mall doesn’t secure any mortgage bonds, according to Trepp.

Meridian’s ties to CapitalOne’s multifamily business date to the early 2010s, when Meridian’s leader, Ralph Herzka, got to know a young credit man at Fannie Mae named Jeff Lee. In 2009, Lee went on to help found Beech Street Capital, a multifamily lending platform, and he has led CapitalOne’s multifamily lending since the bank acquired Beech Street six years ago.

Elsewhere, Meridian has brokered Capital One debt deals on residential portfolios in Harlem and Morningside Heights in Manhattan, and on a residential development in Nashville, Tenn.

A Capital One spokesman declined to comment.