Apr 16, 2015
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Blackstone secures $600 million for Miami luxury mall

Apr 16, 2015

Blackstone Group LP has secured a $600 million loan for a Florida developer turning a once dingy, warehouse district in Miami into a premier luxury retail destination, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Blackstone will hold a $100 million mezzanine portion of the loan with the Bank of China providing $250 million, Craig Robins, president and chief executive of Miami-based Dacra Development, told Reuters on Tuesday. Deutsche Bank and Credit Agricole will split the balance, he added.

The Miami Design District

Dacra partnered with L Real Estate, a fund sponsored by luxury giant Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, in 2011 to form Design District Associates. The partnership, initially financed by Credit Agricole, is in the midst of building 1.2 million square feet of retail space across 20 buildings in the Design District just north of downtown Miami.

A little less than half of the neighborhood’s expected 120 stores were open at end of 2014, coinciding with the international contemporary art fair Art Basel Miami Beach.

At the heart of the development is a towering glass courtyard where flagship Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Piaget stores surround a courtyard with a Buckminster Fuller-designed sculpture.

The area’s offerings also include art galleries, interior design stores and restaurants helmed by James Beard award-winning chefs that have been a magnet for wealthy travelers visiting Miami.

The total value of the project, expected to be complete by 2016, including existing equity is $2.2 billion, Robins said. Chicago real estate investment firm General Growth Properties and New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp paid $280 million in late 2014 for a 20 percent stake in the partnership.

$1 = £0.67

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