Thorofare Capital Lends $25M on Chapel Hill Life Sciences Development

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Grubb Properties has nabbed a $25 million loan for the lease-up of a mixed-use life sciences asset across from the University of North Carolina– Chapel Hill campus, Commercial Observer can first report. 

Thorofare Capital provided the loan on the sponsorship’s office and laboratory space project that also includes a retail component in Chapel Hill’s Innovation District. The deal was led by David Perlman, managing director of Thorofare’s New York office, alongside Jacob Yi and Paul Kim

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“We are thrilled to have provided this strong sponsorship group financing on a mixed-use property that is anchoring the new Innovation District within Chapel Hill,” Perlman said in a statement. “The property’s prime location on Franklin Street, the main retail corridor for the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and directly across from campus, makes this an irreplaceable college town location in a highly supplied constrained market.”

Yi, managing director of credit at Thorofare, said in a statement that the deal fell “perfectly in our lending strike zone” due to its value-add mixed-use aspect in a “supply constrained” market with “high barriers to entry.”

The newly-renovated development involved an overhaul of the existing façade with a new skybridge connecting 137 East Franklin Street and 136 East Rosemary Street. The renovation process also involved Grubb recapturing 13,294 square feet of space on the ground floor at 136 East Rosemary along with addinging outdoor space for some of their offices.

Grubb landed a 10-year, 24,562 square foot  lease from UNC Innovate and BioLabs at 21,482 square feet for a 21-year term. UNC and BioLabs announced a strategic partnership last year to form new startups as part of the project based on faculty research. The overall project also involves office and retail space at 150 East Rosemary Street

Officials at Grubb Properties could not immediately be reached for comment. 

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercilobserver.com