Benefit Street Partners Lends $47M on Florida Luxury Multifamily Development

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Northshore Development has landed a $47 million refinance for Aqua Residences, its 320-unit, luxury multifamily development in Palm Bay, Fla., Commercial Observer has learned. 

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Benefit Street Partners provided the loan, which takes out construction debt from BBVA on the property. Colliers International’s Jeffrey Donnelly and Dmitry Levkov negotiated the recent financing as well as the previous round of development financing on behalf of Northshore. 

“This was a particularly rewarding financing execution for our team in that it was a ’round trip,’” Levkov said. “We sourced the $37 million construction loan for this project two years ago with a top-15 national bank lender.  Our clients recognized our dogged pursuit of best terms in securing that construction loan, and they therefore tapped us for the early-stage construction loan takeout refinancing.”

The new debt allows Orlando-based Northshore to not only pay down the construction loan but also most of its preferred equity, Levkov said. 

Northshore has developed tens of thousands of units of residential developments over the years, with Aqua Residences as its most recent project. Other projects include Mission Grove, a 192-unit multifamily property in Tallahassee, Fla. Its CEO, Franz Hanning, was previously CEO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership

Palm Bay is a small town adjacent to the larger market of Melbourne on Florida’s “Space Coast”. The new property is conveniently located roughly one mile from the global headquarters of technology and defense contractor giant L3Harris as well as several other space and defense contractors including Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, Embraer, Boeing, Space X and OneWeb.

The asset also boasts a top-tier amenity package, including a swimming pool and lounge area, private cabanas, an open-air cross-Training course, yoga lawn, shaded areas, a dog park, electric car charging stations and private garages.

“This was an exceptional refi,” Donnelly said of the Aqua Residences deal. “We identified a bridge lender who was prepared to take on lease-up risk and still offer terms and structure appropriate for a fully stabilized asset.  We signed the term sheet before [certificate of occupancy] and before a single tenant had moved in.” 

Despite its opening in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the project began leasing up rapidly, Donnelly said, even though the process was done entirely via virtual tours.  “It’s remarkable that the property rented several dozen units immediately on opening – site unseen,” he said. “This was a function of our clients’ dynamic vision for the project and their spot-on execution.”