(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

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DESTIN, FL-Miami-based Cohen Financial has arranged a$26.9-million credit facility for waterfront condo-hoteldevelopment Emerald Grande, owned by locally based Legendary Inc.The financing was provided by an undisclosed publicly traded NewYork mortgage REIT, which has financed the project in the past,says Howard Taft, managing director at Cohen, who arranged theoriginal $198 million loan for the development. The borrower wasnot available for comment.

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The facility will be used to fund operations, carry costs, andsales and marketing expenses over the next three years. There areno provisions for additional money unless needed, Taft tellsGlobeSt.com. The firm was able to secure financing for the projectbecause of its strong relationship with the lender and the qualityof the borrower.

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"We have been working closely with our client throughout thedevelopment of Emerald Grande and have a solid understanding oftheir plan," says Taft. Legendary Inc. also proved itself to thelender when it paid down a significant amount of its original loanfrom pre-sales, he adds.

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The 280-unit condo-hotel, located at 10 Harbor Blvd., wascompleted late last year. The project also includes 48,647 squarefeet of retail space that was completed this summer. According toTaft, the whole and fractional condo-hotel units are 80% sold andthe retail portion is 80% leased by high-end specialty retailers.The space is anchored by New Orleans-based restaurants Commander'sPalace and Pat O'Briens.

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Legendary Inc. is a diversified real estate company andwell-established local developer with other upscale projects in thearea including Destin Commons, a 480,000-square-foot open-airlifestyle center and Legendary Yacht Club. The developments arewithin just a few miles of each other, says Taft.

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