Despite lending slowdown, this Miami condo project landed a $58.5M construction loan

Miami Herald Article by Rebecca San Juan

Backing for new projects has slowed as lenders take stock of the post-COVID economy. But the 57 Ocean project in Miami Beach is full ahead, thanks to a $58.5 million construction secured from Bank OZK, said developer Marcelo Kingston, managing partner of MultiplanREAM.

“Bank OZK is pleased to be financing the final phases of 57 Ocean’s construction and to be working with such a reputable developer,” said Greg Newman, managing director of loan originations at Bank OZK. “The strong financial capacity of MultiplanREAM, coupled with such a unique real estate asset, exemplify the high standards Bank OZK consistently seeks in its project financings,” he said via a statement.

Arkansas-based Bank OZK is a familiar player in South Florida. Typically it requires developers to put a sizeable equity that is expended before the bank funds its loan. The 18-story luxury condominium at 5757 Collins Ave. has about 40 units, or 55%, of its 71 units reserved.

The lending process started during the last week of March; JLL Capital Markets arranged the loan. A process that might typically take 90 days took only 30 days due to a lull in activity, Kingston said.

Construction began in April 2019; contractors now have completed 12 stories of construction, and top off is expected for August even the number of workers on the job has been reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions. The project is on schedule for September 2021 completion.

“It is a challenge to get financing during this time,” said Kingston. “But we’re lucky to be advanced in construction, have asset financing and a residential condo project. All of this meant less risk for the lender.”

The loan allows the development firm to complete construction on 57 Ocean and “be open to any new condo opportunity that may arise during this time,” Kingston said.

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