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HOUSTON-A Houston developer, WPW Management Corp., has replaced construction financing from a local bank for Westbridge Plaza in West Houston with a permanent loan of nearly $4 million from Stamford, CT-based GE Capital Real Estate.

The loan has a 5.98% interest rate, 10-year term and 30-year amortization schedule, Buddy Hopson, senior vice president with Kinghorn, Driver, Hough & Co. in Houston, tells GlobeSt.com. The loan represents a 75% loan-to-value ratio.

Hopson, who arranged the financing, says the developer owns half of the 58,914-sf center, sitting on 10.5 acres at the intersection of Beltway 8 and West Road. The other half of the retail space once housed an H-E-B grocery store, but it has relocated to a larger store and backfilled the estimated 29,000 sf with a 99 Cents Only shop. The two-year-old shopping center is 92% occupied, with a McDonald’s restaurant tied to an out-parcel ground lease. Other tenants include State Farm Insurance, Texas Flooring and Square Donuts.

Hopson says the transaction was a win with the lender because is it a “well-designed retail center that takes full advantage of its location at the intersection of a major transportation artery and a freeway.” The center is located in a budding retail area for several residential neighborhoods that have sprung up along West Road.

WPW Management owns, manages or leases about 500,000 sf of retail space in Houston, experience that secure the lender’s confidence, Hopson says. The development company has been at the helm of more than one million sf since its founding in 1976.

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