Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has provided a $31m bridge loan to developer AMI Real Estate to refinance the existing debt on Universal Lofts, a 67-unit creative office condo community located in the Universal City area of Los Angeles.
The three-year loan buys AMI time to sell 61 available units — at prices ranging from $890,000 to $1.25m — after initial plans to sell them were scrapped during the recession and the units were leased out instead.
“The shift in today’s market has allowed developers, such as AMI Real Estate, to re-evaluate their holdings and revise their business plans,” said Shlomi Ronen, founder and principal at Dekel Capital, which arranged the financing.
“The key to enabling these changes to happen is having capital that understands the play in progress — in this case, sourcing a bridge loan allowed AMI Real Estate the flexibility to push the project forward and execute on individual unit sales.”
The deal marks the seventh financing that Dekel Capital has secured for AMI Real Estate. The firm declined to specify additional loan terms but called them “competitive.”
Universal City’s notable businesses include the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park; the Universal CityWalk shopping and entertainment center; the former Gibson Amphitheatre; and Universal’s studios and sets.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is one of the largest banks in the world and has been particularly active in major US cities this year. In April the bank loaned $360m in construction financing for the development of 100 East 53rd Street, a luxury condominium project in Manhattan’s Midtown East neighborhood.
And in July the bank teamed up with HSBC to with a provide a $325m loan refinancing a 10-story property headquartered and owned by centuries-old fine art auction house Sotheby’s on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Los Angeles-based Dekel Capital specializes in sourcing and placing equity and debt for active middle market commercial real estate developers and investors. The firm has engaged in a combined $2bn of structured transactions for developers, operators and investors, over its 15-year history.