MBA Finances D.C. Headquarters for $75M

The Mortgage Bankers Association has secured $75 million in financing to acquire its recently completed 169,400-square-foot headquarters building in Washington, D.C.’s East End submarket, near the city’s CBD, a new convention center and six Metro stations. “The building was originally a spec project,” Bill Asbill, senior managing director in the Washington, D.C., offices of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P., told CPN. “Early on, MBA put it under contract. The agreement was that MBA would buy the building upon completion and that the developer would build out the MBA space.” The project (pictured) was developed by a joint venture between New York City-based Paramount Group, a real estate investment and management firm with Class A properties in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Diego, and DRI Development Services L.L.C., a commercial real estate developer based in Washington, D.C. The acquisition loan was structured as a variable-rate, 30-year taxable bond transaction enhanced by a letter of credit facility provided by PNC Bank. Wells Fargo, Chevy Chase Bank and Virginia Commerce Bank participated in the Letter of Credit Facility. PNC Capital Markets handled the marketing of the bonds, which are typically sold to money market funds at an interest rate near the 30-day LIBOR rate. Asbill, managing director Bob Donhauser and director Cary Abod represented MBA and put together the consortium of banks. The deal was structured this way at least in part because of the current difficulties in the credit markets. “The credit shortage has made traditional mortgage financing much less favorable,” Asbill said. “The spreads are higher and the proceeds are significantly lower. While you used to get 75 percent to 80 percent, today it is closer to 65 percent. This structure enabled MBA to get the best rate and the highest proceeds.” MBA’s total acquisition cost was $79 million. MBA will occupy 40 percent of the space and lease the other 60 percent to other tenants. The financing package includes funding for future tenant improvement and leasing costs. “By the time the rest of the space is built out, they will probably have about $100 million in the building,” Asbill said. The core and shell of the building meet the U.S. Building Council’s LEED requirements for Gold certification. The interior design meets the requirements for Silver certification. MBA officials said the LEED certifications would give the building a competitive advantage with eco-conscious tenants.