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SUGAR LAND, TX-Though still under construction, the RiverPark shopping center at the corner of US Highway 59 and Grand Parkway in Fort Bend County has secured $31.8 million in permanent financing from GE Capital Real Estate.

The Ainbinder Co. of Houston is the developer of the property. James S. Adams of Kinghorn, Driver, Hough & Co. in Houston arranged the financing for the 95% pre-leased project.

“This was one of the most structured fixed-rate permanent loans we have ever negotiated,” Adams says in a press release. “GE funded all of the 80% loan-to-value loan proceeds at closing while tenants, who would amount to approximately 20% of the rental income, were not in occupancy and construction was still in process.” He credits the win to the lender’s flexibility, the project’s quality and the developer’s reputation.

Adams tells GlobeSt.com that Ainbinder wanted to go ahead and secure permanent financing, getting in before interest rates rise. The 10-year loan, with a 30-year amortization, carries a fixed rate of about 5.5%. The financing retired construction financing with Union Bank & Trust of Omaha.

The 164,057-sf RiverPark center began construction in March 2002 on a 28-acre tract. A 78,000-sf H-E-B grocery store is the anchor for an inline lineup that includes Walgreens, Bank of America, Whataburger and Hallmark. Adams says the strength of the lineup helped in securing the loan. At the project’s onset, Star Furniture bought a five-acre outparcel from Ainbinder and developed a 100,000-sf store. Construction is wrapping up, with some tenants open for business.

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