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BROOMFIELD, CO-CIGNA Investments has made a $180-million permanent loan on the 836,295-sf FlatIron Crossing regional mall. It is believed to be the largest loan for a single commercial project ever made in the Denver area.

The financing replaces construction loans put together by a consortium of banks headed by Bank of America, says Jim Cobb, director of the Denver office of L.J. Melody & Co., who put together the CIGNA deal with Doug Mueller of the Phoenix office L.J. Melody. Westcor is the Phoenix developer of FlatIron.

”I can’t think of anything of this magnitude for a single asset,” Cobb tells GlobeSt.com. ”The Park Meadows Mall was financed around four years ago for around $100 million.”

About two years ago, L.J. Melody financed the Wells Fargo Center in Downtown Denver, the biggest single deal in recent history in the market.

”That loan was for about $100 million,” with the buyer putting more than $100 million of equity into the purchase, he says. ”And if you look at the Denver Tech Center office building, a top building goes for $60 million or $70 million.”

There may have been some portfolio deals that topped the $180 million loan figure, he adds.

Under the CIGNA deal, Westcor has a floating rate on a five-year term. Westcor hired L.J. Melody because it new of its relationship with CIGNA, Cobb says.

L.J. Melody acts as the ”eyes and ears” for CIGNA, which he says is likely the largest lender on regional malls in the nation.

”We working on this loan for months,” Cobb says. ”We closed after Sept. 11. Since Sept. 11, quite a few lenders have been sitting on the sidelines.”

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