Bank OZK Loans $84M for West Palm Beach’s Nora Mixed-Use Project

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Another day, another Bank OZK (OZK) construction loan closes in South Florida.

NDT Development, Place Projects and Wheelock Street Capital secured $84 million from the Arkansas-based bank to begin work on the 40-acre Nora District in West Palm Beach.

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The financing will go toward the first phase, which will include about 200,000 square feet of commercial space. The open-air, pedestrian-friendly development along North Railroad Avenue north of the city’s downtown will house 150,000 square feet of retail and 55,000 square feet for office space inside rehabilitated warehouses and new development.  

Retail tenants for the first phase include Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, New York’s H&H Bagels, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, and Juliana’s Pizza, as well as West Palm Beach’s Celis Juice Bar and Café and national boutique fitness chains Rumble and Solidcore.

Construction broke ground a year ago and is slated for completion in early 2025. Steven Klein, Brian Gaswirth and Mateo Bolivar of JLL brokered the debt.

The next phases will include additional retail and office as well as a multifamily component and  The Nora Hotel, a 201-key hotel developed in partnership with BD Hotels and Sean MacPherson, who ran the famed The Bowery, Mercer, and the Chelsea Hotel in New York.

As interest rates rose and lenders stepped back, Bank OZK has emerged as South Florida’s biggest construction funder in recent months. Just last week, it closed on the region’s largest construction loan, providing $668 million for PMG’s Waldorf Astoria supertall high-rise in Miami, alongside Related Fund Management.

Since December, the bank has closed on more than $2.5 billion in construction debt. 

These include $328 million for Related Group’s Baccarat Residences condo tower in Brickell; $172 million to Jackie Soffer’s Turnberry for a condo building within the SoLé Mia master development in North Miami; $259 million to Edgardo Defortuna’s Fortune International Group for the Ritz-Carlton-branded condo development in Pompano Beach; and $220 million for the first phase of FAT Village, Hines’ master-planned, mixed-use development in Fort Lauderdale. 

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com