By Linda O’Flanagan
Meridian Capital Group has negotiated a $45 million loan to financing the development of Williamsburg’s first Whole Foods.
Executive vice president Aaron Birnbaum and vice president Tal Savariego arranged the three-year construction finance deal with interest-only payments and a LIBOR-based floating rate.
The site at 240-242 Bedford Avenue was bought last year in a joint venture by Midtown Equities and Aurora Capital and the Adjmi Family for $23 million. Meridian noted that the borrower is an entity known as CAB Bedford LLC.
The site spans the entire block of North 4th Street from Bedford Avenue to Berry Street and will be home to the organic supermarket chain.
“Williamsburg has firmly established itself as one of Brooklyn’s top residential neighborhoods and the introduction of 240 Bedford brings with it a Whole Foods Market and a strong set of national tenants to this growing area,” said Savariego.
“Meridian actively negotiated with the borrower and lender to arrange a competitive construction loan that will bring Williamsburg its first premier supermarket chain, an amenity that will further enhance the neighborhood’s desirability as a residential hot spot.”
The developers are planning a 150,000 s/f development which would include the supermarket, luxury rental apartments and a New York Sports Club, according to published reports.
It will be the second Whole Foods in Brooklyn. The supermarket is set to open its first in the borough in Gowanus in December.
The store has already been credited with creating a run-up in property values there. Last week, Daniel Geiger at Crains reported the $7.3 million sale of a parcel of six interconnecting buildings, with 15,000 s/f of retail space and 45,000 s/f of office, sold for $7.3 million thanks to the buyer’s bet on the grocer’s transformative power. “They see the neighborhood changing,” Kalmon Dolgin broker Robert Klein told the business magazine.
Klein, the senior broker who negotiated the sale on behalf of the buyer, 304 LLC and seller, Dominick Terzuoli, added, “The Third Avenue corridor has exploded with Whole Foods.ˮ