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NEW YORK CITY-Nine months after groundbreaking ceremonies at Columbus Circle for the AOL Time Warner Center, the complex closed on a loan of $1.3 billion from GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. The transaction is said to be the largest of its kind for a private development in US history.

The construction portion of the loan amounts to $1.1 billion with another $200 million in mezzanine financing.

Sources could not be reached for comment today, but William L. Mack, one of the developers, noted in a prepared statement that, “We are gratified by the confidence that the nation’s premier commercial mortgage lender has shown in this project, and we look forward to the opening of this new landmark in 2003.”

The mixed-use development will feature twin 750-foot towers and a group of smaller buildings for a total of more than 2.1 million sf. In addition to facilities for AOL Time Warner, broadcast studios for CNN and local TV cable station NY1, the center will be home to a 249-room Mandarin Oriental hotel, 191 luxury condominiums and a concert hall for Jazz at Lincoln Center that will seat 1,100. A number of upscale retailers such as Hugo Boss, Joseph Abboud, J. Crew and A/X Armani Exchange are leasing space.

Development partners Stephen M. Ross, chairman and CEO of the Related Cos. LP, William L. Mack, co-founder and senior partner of Apollo Real Estate Advisors LP and Kenneth A. Himmel, president and CEO of the Palladium arranged the financing.

GMAC Commercial Holding Corp., with its subsidiary GMAC Commercial Mortgage, is a loan origination, servicing, asset management and mortgage securitization firm. It has a $108-billion servicing portfolio worldwide and originated nearly $15 billion in commercial mortgage loans last year.

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