USAA Real Estate Lands $72M Refi for Miami-Area Towers

With the assistance of JLL Capital Markets, the company obtained a four-year loan from Värde Partners.
Columbus Center
Columbus Center. Image courtesy of JLL

USAA Real Estate has recently landed a $71.6 million refinancing deal for Columbus Center, a premier office asset near Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., public records indicate. With the assistance of JLL Capital Markets, USAA secured the loan for the approximately 263,200-square-foot property through Värde Partners.

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Carrying the address of One Alhambra Plaza, Columbus Center first opened its doors in downtown Coral Gables in 1991 as a development endeavor of USAA and Patrinely Group, which recently stepped in as property manager and leasing director at the office complex. The property’s 14-story East Tower and eight-story West Tower, both of which feature several levels of office space above a structured parking facility, are linked at the ground level by a retail segment. Currently the property is 70 percent leased to national and local tenants from a variety of industries.

Värde came through with financing in the form of a four-year, floating-rate loan for Columbus Center. The parties involved have not disclosed additional financial terms of the transaction. However, the ownership had obtained a $57 million loan in 2014 through Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., with a maturity date of November 2020. The property has a current assessed value of $72.5 million, according to Miami-Dade County records.

The lending game

The JLL team of Paul Stasaitis, Wally Reid, Gerard Sansosti and Reid Carleton found the lending community highly receptive to the Columbus Center opportunity, which, as Stasaitis noted in a prepared statement, is indicative of the high level of debt capital demand for quality office product. “More capital flowed to refinancing activity than into new acquisitions in the first half of 2020,” according to a recent research report from Real Capital Analytics. “Refinancing accounted for 50 percent of all capital flows to commercial property, well above the 30 percent share represented by new acquisitions.”

In prepared remarks, Värde notes its attraction to Columbus Center’s highly desirable location and USAA and Patrinely’s business plan for enhancing value of the property. The partners plan to use proceeds from the loan to reposition the asset through a capital improvement program that will include the renovation of common areas and the expansion of on-site amenities, and to finance lease-up activities.