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PHILADELPHIA-Oaktree Capital Management, the Los Angeles-based owner of United Plaza, obtains a $59.8-million Libor-based, floating-rate loan on the 20-story office trophy. Since acquiring the property in 2000, Oaktree has made substantial upgrades, including a complete redesign and renovation of the lobby and 15,000-sf outdoor plaza.

New York-based Sonnenblick-Goldman Co. arranged the loan. The lender is an undisclosed major German bank. The financing is structured to provide additional, staged funding as Oaktree incurs costs associated with the imminent move-in of locally based Duane Morris law firm.

Duane Morris is relocating from One Liberty Place to approximately 220,000 sf, or a third of United Plaza, on a lease that runs through August 2019. Other major tenants there are IBM and Prudential Securities. United Plaza, a modern high-rise at 30 South 17th St., contains about 620,000 sf, plus a 90-space underground garage. It was completed in 1975.

“The capital improvements made by Oaktree and the addition of Duane Morris to the already prestigious tenant roster have returned United Plaza to a position as one of the premier office buildings in Center City,” says Andrew S. Oliver, managing director and principal of Sonnenblick-Goldman. “Due to the strong sponsorship, diversified tenancy and high quality of the property, there was tremendous interest from the lending community, both domestic and international, which created a very competitive process,” he adds without disclosing the loan’s interest rate and terms.

Oliver; Stephen A. Kohn, president; Mark J. Ehlinger, director, and Alexander E. Hernandez, associate at Sonnenblick-Goldman, managed the transaction. It is their second major financing here for Oaktree this month. The same team also arranged a $63-million, 10-year, fixed-rate mortgage for Curtis Center, the 840,000-sf landmark office building on South 6th St. that fronts both Independence Square and Washington Square Park.

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