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SPRINGFIELD, MA-A series of debt and equity transactions totaling over $57 million was secured for Eastfield Mall, a 780,000-sf regional mall that is owned and managed by affiliates of Mountain Development Corp.

Sonnenblick-Goldman Co. arranged a $28.7 million bridge loan from a public real estate investment trust that was used to buy out an institutional partner and pay off a loan on the property. Upon the completion of this transaction, Sonnenblick-Goldman arranged a $24.5 million floating-rate first mortgage with an overseas financial institution and a $4.2 million preferred-equity investment with the REIT.

The mall was built in 1968 by the Rouse Co. and was acquired by Mountain Development and its former institutional partner in 1998. It subsequently underwent a $21 million upgrade and repositioning, including the addition of a 16-screen Showcase Cinema. According to Mountain, occupancy rates increased from 46% in 1998 to 96% in 2002. In the same period, shop sales increased from $173 per sf to $305 per sf.

“Eastfield Mall is a typical success story of L. Robert Lieb and Jeffrey Taylor of Mountain Development Corp. in the turn-around of troubled or under performing office buildings and shopping centers over the last few years,” says David S. Schaiman, managing director of Sonnenblick-Goldman. The mall is anchored by a number of department stores including Sears, JC Penney and Filene’s.

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