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RALEIGH, NC-Real estate investment firm EYC Cos. has closed on a $22-million loan to construct a new luxury apartment community near Durham’s popular Research Triangle area. Horsham, PA’s GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation is financing the 328-unit structure, which will be completed in May 2003.

Carocon Corp. is the general contractor and Andron Architects and Associates is designing The South Terrace at Auburn apartments. The new luxury residential community will feature–among other amenities–a carriage house, nature trails, and an entertainment area located on a terrace overlooking a three-acre lake. The property will also be neighbor to a new shopping mall with 1.3 million sf of retail space, scheduled to go up a year before EYC’s project. And South Terrace’s proximity to the 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park puts it in the middle of comings and goings in the well-traveled pocket formed by the area’s three major universities: Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The complex will sit just two miles from the triangle.

But timing may be everything when it comes to the success of this project. EYC President and CEO Ellis Y. Coleman concedes, “The record of RTP has had a little hiccup because of [the downturn] in the high-tech industry.” However, he notes that the apartment complex is not due to begin leasing until mid-2002, with the bulk of leasing activity taking place in early 2003. “We feel like we’ll be emerging at the time when the economy will be rebounding.” Ellis adds, “The region has always been good and we’re going to have a very competitive product… This sub-market has always been very strong.”

EYC worked with its equity partner K&S Auburn, LLC, the investment arm of The Kalikow Group in New York, to get the construction loan. K&S Managing Member Edward Kalikow says his company is “pleased to be commencing our second project with Mr. Coleman, his development team, and Carocon in such a strong growth market.”

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