AvalonBay Nets Its Largest Bond Financing for San Fran Mixed-Use

AvalonBay Communities Inc. has received $135 million in financing–the multi-family REIT’s largest bond financing ever closed–to fund construction of Avalon Walnut Creek at Contra Centre, a $400 million mixed-use, transit-oriented development next to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit’s Pleasant Hill Bay station. Serving as AvalonBay’s finance counsel, law firm Goodwin Procter L.L.P. helped AvalonBay secure the letter of credit from Bank of America N.A., comprising $116 million in tax-exempt and $19 million in taxable multi-family housing revenue bonds. AvalonBay, Millennium Partners and the San Francisco BART comprise the partners investing in the public-private venture. While the first phase expanded the station’s parking garage, the second phase, which broke ground in July, will add 422 apartments, with 85 percent as affordable housing, as previously reported by CPN; future phases will deliver 100 condominium units, 35,000 square feet of local service retail, a civic use area, a 19,400-square-foot business conference center and 270,000 square feet of office space. The project is slated for completion in 2010. Tuan Pham, partner at Goodwin Procter, sees the combination of residential, retail and office space near mass transit as the future of urban multi-family housing. “The confluence of skyrocketing energy prices, turmoil in the homeownership market, and the desire to live, work and shop in one location near mass transportation, makes this type of development very attractive,” he told CPN. “It also helps that this development will reduce driving, and as a result, reduce our carbon footprint.”