MetLife Provides $450M for SF Bay Area Retail Asset

Borrowers The Macerich Co. and Northwestern Mutual utilized the 960,000-square-foot Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek as collateral for the 12-year fixed-rate loan.
Broadway Plaza

The Macerich Co. and Northwestern Mutual, owners of the Broadway Plaza retail property in Walnut Creek, Calif., have secured $450 million in financing. MetLife provided the joint venture partners with a loan secured by the approximately 960,000-square-foot lifestyle center, located 25 miles across the Bay from San Francisco.

The financing came in the form of a 12-year loan at a fixed rate of 4.18 percent. Broadway Plaza’s strong history of tenant sales and occupancy—the property is presently 98 percent leased—attracted MetLife to the financing opportunity, as did a few other factors. “It is in close proximity to a number of affluent suburbs in the Oakland MSA and the overall San Francisco Bay area. It’s also considered the top mall in the East Bay area, and in our view, it’s one of the top few malls in all the Bay area,” Robert Merck, senior managing director & global head of real state and agriculture, MetLife Investment Management, told Commercial Property Executive.

Fifty-fitty partners in the ownership of Broadway Plaza, Macerich and Northwestern acquired the asset at 1275 Broadway Plaza in 1985, when it was known as Broadway-Walnut Creek Shopping Center. The property, which holds the distinction of being the second open-air shopping center to debut in the U.S., was developed in 1951 and has since undergone a series of renovations, including a recent substantial redevelopment. “It’s a fantastic class-A retail center and is a very strong, institutional quality asset,” Merck said.

Hey, big lender

Under the right circumstances, lenders are more than willing to part with the big bucks in this post-Recession era. Recent big-ticket financings include Normandy Real Estate Partners and George Comfort & Sons Inc.’s $415 million financing package, secured by the partners’ Manhattan office skyscraper at 575 Lexington Ave. and provided through Paramount Fund VIII, an entity of Paramount Group Inc. And MetLife also came through for Rockwood Capital, providing a $260 million loan to refinance the 2 Grand Central Tower office building in Manhattan.

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