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PHILADELPHIA-The owners of Curtis Center, the 12-story Georgian Revival, class A office building at 124 South 6th St., obtained a $63-million, 10-year, fixed-rate mortgage. The owner partnership includes locally based Kevin F. Donohoe Co. and an affiliate of Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management LLC.

New York-based Sonnenblick-Goldman Co. arranged the refinancing, which was provided through a securitization program from an unidentified investment banking firm. The Sonnenblick-Goldman team included Steven A. Kohn, president; Andrew S. Oliver, managing director and principal; Mark J. Ehlinger, director; and Alexander E. Hernandez, associate.

Without disclosing the mortgage rate, Kohn says, “we are pleased that we were able to assist the owner of this prestigious property in securing flexible and favorable loan terms at historically low interest rates.”

The 840,000-sf property is surrounded on two sides by Washington Square Park and Independence Square. It was commissioned by Cyrus Curtis as the headquarters for his publishing empire and constructed between 1909 and 1921. Among its best known features is “Dream Garden,” a 15- by 45-ft mosaic created by Maxfield Parrish and Louis Comfort Tiffany. It also has a 10,000-sf center court atrium, rich carvings and a generous use of marble.

While it has long been, and still is considered to be one of the city’s most prestigious architectural landmarks and office properties, it has faced–and overcome–financial peril. The Donohoe partnership acquired the building in 1984 for a reported $25 million and launched an extensive renovation that, according to published reports, took four years and carried a $75-million price tag.

At that time the country went into recession and several major tenants abandoned the building. By the mid-1990s, the owners sought and briefly received Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It later emerged from bankruptcy and maintains an occupancy level of between 85% and 90%, according to local brokers. Among its major current tenants are the US Department of Labor, Elsevier Science USA and the Margolis Edelstein law firm.

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