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Deals & Dealmakers

BWE Closes $74.5 Million Life Company Loan to Finance a Portfolio of Shopping Centers in Chicagoland

Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC (BWE), a national commercial and multifamily mortgage banking company, announced today the closing of a $74,487,616 life company loan to finance the acquisition and improvement of a diverse portfolio of open-air shopping centers in the Chicago metropolitan area. The five properties in the portfolio are Cicero Marketplace, Northwest Shopping Center, Golf Plaza II, Fox River Commons and English Valley.

Daniel Rosenberg, Executive Vice President in BWE’s Chicago office, originated the loan on behalf of the borrower, Continental Realty Corporation (CRC).

“BWE is proud to work with our partners at CRC to help them acquire, renovate and improve this diverse array of shopping centers which serve the needs of communities across the Greater Chicago area,” said Rosenberg. “We look forward to continuing to work with partners across Chicago, the Midwest and the country to bring additional financing to retail developments like these.”

The properties were approximately 82% leased at the time of acquisition and are home nearly 70 tenants, including many at below-market-rate rent. To help mitigate rollover risk, no single tenant occupies more than 15% of the portfolio’s gross leasable space.

The tenant mix is heavily weighted towards grocery and necessity-based retailers, including Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Jewel Osco, Walgreens and Food 4 Less (Kroger), and several anchor tenants have occupied the space for over 20 years. According to data from Placer.ai, the Sam’s Club at Cicero Marketplace is the most trafficked Sam’s Club in the entire United States, while the Home Depot ranks #4 in Illinois and in the 95th percentile nationally. The Walgreens at Golf Plaza II also ranks in the 92nd percentile of Walgreens in Illinois.

The lender provided a fixed rate, interest-only loan to help protect against future rate increases. The three-year loan also comes with two one-year extension options. CRC will use the new loan proceeds to purchase the portfolio and help fund leasing costs to increase occupancy and drive net operating income. CRC will also complete various capital improvements and renovations during the loan term to further attract potential lessees.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland and founded in 1960, CRC is a full-service commercial real estate and investment company focused on acquiring and operating retail and multifamily properties. The privately held firm owns and manages a diversified portfolio of retail centers consisting of more than seven million square feet of commercial space and approximately 9,000 apartment homes across 11 states, with a portfolio value exceeding $3.3 billion. For additional information, visit www.crcrealty.com.

BWE provides flexible financing solutions for clients covering the entire spectrum of commercial and multifamily real estate. For more information on BWE’s services, visit us at: https://www.bwe.com/

BWE is a national, full-service commercial and multifamily mortgage banking company. Partnering with Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., BWE has production offices across the country and an integrated servicing platform based in Cleveland. With local market expertise, national lending relationships and financing structure experience, we provide clients with competitive, creative solutions for their financing needs. BWE provides loans for a range of institutional investors including life insurance companies, pension funds, commercial banks and CMBS lenders and is a Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriting and Servicing (DUS®) lender, Freddie Mac Optigo™ seller/servicer for Conventional and Targeted Affordable Housing Loans, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) approved Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) lender and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 538 Rural Development lender. 

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