WASHINGTON, DC—Last week HFF reported that itsecured $95 million in financing for thedevelopment of BLVD at Reston Station on behalf ofComstock Partners. HFF's WalterCoker and Brian Crivella placed the48-month construction loan with Citizens Bank.

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To be sure, the 21-story, 448-unit, luxury apartment building isa significant, even signature, project for the DC area. It will belocated atop the entrance of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Stationin Reston, VA--the last stop on Phase I of the new Silver Line. Thebuilding will be the inaugural phase of the Reston Stationmixed-use development that will include 550,000 square feet ofoffice space, a 200-room hotel and another multi-family residentialbuilding.

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However, there have been other large-size construction loansplaced over the past year: JBG landed afour-year $99.2 million loan for AtlanticPlumbing, an infill mixed-use development in Shaw fromCapital One; Fisher Brothersobtained a 20-year, construction-to-permanent $100.7million loan with an institutional investor represented byCornerstone Real Estate Advisers, LLC, for 701 2ndStreet Apartments; StonebridgeCarras secured$121.6 million in construction financing fromWells Fargo Bank for the development of 8300Wisconsin in Bethesda, MD.

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HFF worked on all of these transactions and it is currently inthe process of placing another large-sized construction loan for aproject in Laurel, MD, Coker tells GlobeSt.com. "It is pretty bigand we expect it to close roughly within the next 60 days."

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So does five deals make a trend? Not in Coker's eyes. Smallerconstruction loans, usually financed by local lenders, are stillthe norm and will remain so, he says.

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"In general the appetite for DC construction loans is strong aslong as the projects have a good story, good sponsorship and are ina good location," he says.

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The aforementioned deals are unusual in another respect, hecontinues, although that may be more of a function of HFF's ownguidelines: the loans were all provided from a single sourceinstead of a syndicate of lenders as is usually the case forlarge-size transactions.

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"HFF doesn't allow syndication risk to be part of a deal,although realistically it is baked in," Coker says, referring tothe informal and inevitable discussions lenders have amongthemselves as they consider a deal to see who might be interestedin buying a piece of a transaction.

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On paper, being the sole lender can make providers nervous inpart because of the perceived supply risk there is in the marketfor multifamily, Coker says, "but they can, generally speaking, betalked off the ledge. With the amount of equity behind them inthese deals they don't have to be concerned about gettingpaid."

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