Gables and Dallas-based Granite Properties have been preppingthe 2.2-acre site at 1717 McKinney Ave since April. Gables'plan calls for 292 rental units on 20 floors atop 14,000 sf ofretail while Granite's stake will be a 361,524-sf, 19-story officebuilding. The towers, with LEED certification as part of the plan,will be linked by a six-level parking garage and shared amenitydeck. The developers are eyeing delivery in April, possibly May,2010.

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David Reece, senior vice president of finance and capitalmarkets for the Atlanta-based Gables, tells GlobeSt.com thatCharlotte, NC-based Wachovia is the lead lender, with Birmingham,AL-headquartered Compass Bank in a participating role. "Most bankstoday don't want to keep more than $30 million on their books," heexplains about the motivation for the split. Teams in Atlanta andHouston for Wachovia and Compass, respectively, arranged thefinancing.

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[IMGCAP(2)]Reece says the financing package, which isLibor-based and has "a couple" extension options, took "three orfour months" to pull together. "It took a little bit longer becausewe had to participate it," he says, adding the shared amenity deckalso complicated the deal-making process. Wachovia was seated firstand then he brought Compass Bank to the table.

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"Both Wachovia and Compass are familiar with the market and knowthe location," Reece says. "They recognize the location is a verygood one." The two towers will sit at the kissing point of McKinneyAvenue, Cedar Springs Road and North Akard Street.

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Gables, like others, still had to battle the capital markets'turmoil to win financing despite its financial muscle. "Generally,it was more difficult given the constraints of the capitalmarkets," Reece says. "We had other loans from both banks so it wasa good fit. It wasn't much longer than normal."

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Gables' tower will have 181 one-bedroom units, averaging 920 sf;105 two-bedroom units, averaging 1,370 sf; and six three-bedroomunits, averaging 2,500 sf. Because it's so early in thedevelopment, the projected rents have yet to be set. The amenitydeck will boast a 4,000-sf fitness center and outdoor pool.

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