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September 13, 2013

Washington Property Closes $75M Permanent Loan for M-F Asset in Suburban DC

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Solaire-MetroWashington Property Co. has landed $75 million in permanent financing for Solaire-Metro, the commercial real estate concern’s 295-unit luxury apartment community in the suburban Washington, D.C., city of Silver Spring, Md.  The newly developed property is well-located, it’s well-leased, it’s well-sponsored–and it was well-liked by investors as WPC sought out financing.

ING Investment Management L.L.C. provided the financing, which came in the form of a 20-year loan. One of the main factors that attracted lenders to the opportunity is, as Charles Nulsen, president with WPC, told Commercial Property Executive, the simple fact that Solaire-Metro is “a good transit-oriented rental community, and in metropolitan Washington, there’s a general movement towards transit living due to the nation’s worst traffic.”

Carrying the address of 1150 Ripley St., the 17-story residential tower’s location in the transit-centric Ripley District in downtown Silver Spring certainly bodes well for its long-term success. As noted in a report by research and policy agency Reconnecting America, “Increasingly Americans are showing a preference for more compact, walkable, mixed-use communities over typical suburban development, in part because traffic is so bad that no one wants to spend time commuting.”

Solaire-Metro is within a three-minute walk of the Silver Spring Metro platform, which allows for a quick 15-minute commute to neighboring employment center, Washington, D.C.

But it’s not just a longing for a headache-free commute that has attracted renters to Solaire-Metro.

“Silver Spring offers many advantages, including cultural attractions such as the Fillmore Silver Spring entertainment venue and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, in addition to lower rental rates than some D.C. neighborhoods,” Nulsen said.

During the second quarter, effective rents averaged $1,250 in the East Silver Spring/Takoma Park/Adelphi submarket, compared to $1,994 in Northwest D.C., according to a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

There’s something about Solaire-Metro that catches the eye of renters; the numbers tell the story. Completed in May 2012, Solaire-Metro was already 25 percent leased one month later and today, the apartment building is 95 percent occupied. It is a lender’s dream.

Walker & Dunlop and Sage Capital served as WPC’s representative in the financing transaction for Solaire-Metro.