CINCINNATI—HFF recently secured $165 million inconstruction financing for Liberty Center, a 626,791-square-footretail development located at the I-75 and SR 129 interchange justnorth of Cincinnati. The company worked on behalf of thedevelopers, Bucksbaum Retail Properties, LLC andSteiner + Associates, along with financial partnerMount Kellett Capital Management LP, securing theloan through a single capital source.

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Chicago-based Bucksbaum and Columbus-based Steiner have launchedthe region's largest on-going mixed-use development. In addition toretail, it will feature more than 75,000-square-feet of officespace, 241 residential units and, as reported in GlobeSt.com,a 130-room AC Marriott hotel, all spanning about 65acres. And Dillard's will complete a two-storyflagship department store with 200,000-square-feet to anchor thecenter. The project has already secured a number of nationalretailers including Dick's Sporting Goods,Kona Grill and CheesecakeFactory.

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Along with its partners the Georgetown Co. andLimited Brands, Steiner also recently broke groundon Easton Gateway, a 54-acre addition to its Easton Town Center inColumbus, which will have more than 500,000-square-feet of retailand about 40,000-square-feet of office-above-retail space.

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The HFF team was led by New York-based managing directorMichael Gigliotti and Chicago-based directorDaniel Kaufman.

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“This project represents possibly the most significant ground-upretail development of the current real estate cycle, anywhere inthe US,” Kaufman says. “The sponsorship team came together torealize an incredible vision, combining the development and retailexpertise of Steiner and Bucksbaum, with the capital marketsstrength of Mount Kellett. All signs point to a very successfulproject, and one that will be very important for Cincinnati.”

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“The lender was able to provide a comprehensive constructionfinancing solution for the development project,” Gigliotti adds.“The sponsors recognized this particular lender's ability tonavigate through complex structuring issues, including a publicfinancing component, several different retail buildings and parkingstructures, and the office, apartment, and hotel components, all ofwhich are integrated but being developed separately.”

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.