NEWPORT BEACH, CA—GlobeSt.com has learned exclusively that Los Angeles-based George Smith Partners has arranged a $51.4-million bridge loan for Lido Retail Group, an affiliate of DJM Capital Partners, for the complete renovation of the Lido Marina Village, a 123,391-square-foot, multi-block, mixed-use property on Lido Isle here. The property will be rebranded as an upscale boutique and restaurant destination unlike any currently offered in Orange County, according to GSP.
As GlobeSt.com reported in January, DJM, a private-equity investment, development and asset-management firm focusing on the retail sector, was set to begin work to restore Lido Marina Village beginning in February. The firm is developing the landmark so that it once again becomes an appealing shopping, dining and marina destination for locals and visitors, spending an estimated $16 million, GlobeSt.com has learned.
The property consists of retail, restaurant and office space in 14 separate structures including prime waterfront boutique and dining space featuring harbor views, along with 47 boat docks and common areas for strolling, shopping and outdoor entertainment. The village stretches from the waterfront, across a public street and walkway and includes street-front retail and a small, multi-tenant office building. DJM’s renovation will attempt to create an integrated village feel across the entire project.
According to Steve Bram, principal at GSP, “We have worked with DJM on all their financings for the past 13 years and understand their incredible skill and insight at renovating and managing retail properties. Their 2-million-square-foot retail portfolio is over 96% leased.”
Bram adds that the age and condition of the Lido Marina Village property “provides significant room for value-add improvements. DJM purchased the property in an off-market transaction in mid-2013 from Vornado Realty Trust. Wassermann Real Estate, Vornado’s previous partner, had purchased the Lido Marina in the mid-2000s and planned to raze the property, so no leasing or renovations were completed, as evidenced by the property’s current occupancy of 30%, with most tenants on month-to-month leases. DJM will keep the property footprint as is, but will fully renovate the complex, adding new storefronts, facades, HVAC systems, roofs decking, railings, etc.”
Eric Sahn, CFO of DJM, notes that these property attributes were a major factor in the decision to acquire the asset. “What attracted us to this investment were the physical property itself and the incredible location on Newport Harbor. These unique older buildings, in good condition, with desirable, spacious floor plans, will serve as the foundation for a great new project.”
Linda Berman, DJM’s SVP of corporate strategy, is overseeing the rebranding effort. She was previously VP of corporate brand strategy for Caruso Affiliated, working on the Grove, the Americana at Brand and other specialty projects within the Caruso portfolio.
Leasing will be overseen by Heather Hollister, SVP of leasing for DJM. Previously with the Irvine Co., she managed leasing for several properties, including Irvine Spectrum and Fashion Island. Several high-end specialty restaurants and boutiques have expressed interest in leasing opportunities at Lido Marina Village.