National, The Ratkovich Company, Blue Vista Capital Announce Close of $225 Million Loan at The Bloc
Permanent Loan to Finance Ongoing Development at Open-Air Urban Destination in Downtown Los Angeles
The Ratkovich Company, National Real Estate Advisors (“National”)and Blue Vista Capital today announced they have secured a $225 million permanent loan to finance The Bloc, a premier urban destination in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.
“As we enter the final stretch of construction, this financial commitment underscores the collective excitement we all share for the future impact of this project,” said Wayne Ratkovich, CEO of The Ratkovich Company. “The added flexibility provided by this investment will help us to continue realizing our goal of providing Angelenos with a truly transformational community cornerstone at The Bloc.”
“This financial commitment lends further credence to the vibrant revitalization underway in downtown and lays the foundation for continued growth in the decades ahead,” said Jeff Kanne, President of National Real Estate Advisors. “With the grand opening of the project just months away, we are thrilled that we’ll soon be able to share The Bloc with the entire Los Angeles community.”
The new loan replaces an existing CMBS loan inherited upon purchase of the property in 2013 with a final payoff amount of approximately $121.6 million, and provides for additional proceeds to finalize the redevelopment and fund leasing costs at the property. The ownership group, advised by John Crump, Paul Brindley and Matt Stewart of HFF, worked with an institutional balance sheet lender on the financing.
The Bloc will open this summer following a radical transformation from a 1970s-style mall to an open-air urban destination. Anchored by a completely renovated flagship Macy’s, The Bloc will offer Angelenos a curated experience of design-oriented, artisanal retailers and restaurateurs, as well as a state of the art, creative-leaning office building and glamorously renovated 496-room Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown.
Originally built in 1973 by architect Charles Luckman, the development will be the single largest mixed-use property in Los Angeles where consumers can work, sleep, shop and eat. The Bloc will be LEED certified and will be the first full city block designated as a Delos WELL Building Project in the world.
About The Ratkovich Company
The Ratkovich Company is a Los Angeles development company that engages in both new development and the imaginative reuse of existing buildings. The company has completed, or has under development, nearly 18 million square feet of commercial space in Los Angeles County, including The Bloc, a 1.8 million square foot, mixed-use property at the heart of downtown Los Angeles that will become the premier urban retail, office and hospitality destination. It is also leading the development of the 30-acre San Pedro Public Market, formerly known as Ports O’ Call Village, which lies along the Los Angeles Waterfront. The $100 million revitalization of the property will transform it into a world-class, urban waterfront destination with retail and dining attractions. The company has also redeveloped The Alhambra, a 45-acre mixed-use urban community in the city of Alhambra, and The Hercules Campus at Playa Vista, a landmark property comprised of 11 historic buildings, including the hangar where Howard Hughes’ legendary Spruce Goose was built. The Hercules Campus is home to YouTube, Konami and 72andSunny. The Ratkovich Company has won numerous awards for its restoration of Los Angeles landmarks, including the art deco Wiltern Theatre and adjacent Pellissier building; the iconic 31-story 5900 Wilshire in Miracle Mile; the Chapman Market and the city of Glendale’s Alex Theatre. The James Oviatt and Fine Arts buildings were also both awarded national landmark status after successful renovations by The Ratkovich Company. For more information, visit http://www.ratkovich.com.
About National Real Estate Advisors
National Real Estate Advisors has $2.6 billion in net assets under management invested in commercial and multifamily real estate valued at $7.6 billion (as of 12/31/15).Through its open-end fund and separate account for pension fund clients, the company invests in major U.S. urban markets, using a build-to-core strategy in large-scale development and redevelopment projects. National builds investment portfolios of stabilized modern property assets—apartment, office, mixed-use, industrial, data centers and hotels—with design features, technological enhancements, and amenities that can drive high tenant demand and create value over time. Utilizing its wholly-owned affiliate, National Real Estate Development LLC, the company also directly develops major projects for client accounts and partners. The firm is a subsidiary of the National Electrical Benefit Fund. For more information visit, www.natadvisors.com.
About Blue Vista
Blue Vista Capital Management, LLC, founded in 2002 and headquartered in Chicago, has raised in excess of $1.1 billion of institutional equity, and currently manages four closed-end funds, two separate accounts and one joint venture relationship with approximately $5.25 billion of assets under management. The firm’s clients include institutional investors, pension plans, insurance companies, the world’s largest university endowment and select family offices and high net worth investors. For more information on the firm, please visit www.bluevistallc.com.
HFF and HFFS (HFF Securities L.P.) are owned by HFF, Inc. (NYSE: HF). HFF operates out of 22 offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital markets services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry. HFF together with its affiliate HFFS offer clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, equity placement, advisory services, loan sales and commercial loan servicing. For more information please visit hfflp.com or follow HFF on Twitter @HFF.
Difede Ramsdell Bender PLLC and DLA Piper LLP advised the ownership group, National Real Estate Advisors, and The Ratkovich Company; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP represented the lender; and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP represented Blue Vista.