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LOS ANGELES-Developer Astani Enterprises of Beverly Hills has secured a $36-million construction loan for its 234-unit Villa Verona apartment complex Downtown, according to Holliday Fenoglio Fowler. The project site is at 1200 Wilshire Blvd., close to the Los Angeles financial district.According to Mitch Paskover of the Los Angeles office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, who arranged the financing, the three-year, adjustable-rate construction loan provides an 88% loan-to-cost ratio and was structured to give the borrower credit for land appreciation.Due for completion in spring 2006, Villa Verona will include six residential floors, 10,000 sf of ground-level retail and 426 parking spaces in a two-level subterranean garage, along with surface spaces. The units will include 70 singles, 85 one-bedroom/one-bath and 79 two-bedroom/two-bath units averaging 945 sf. All units will feature loft-style 10-foot ceilings and views of Downtown. Community amenities will include a two-story gym and spa and a pool, with 15% of the units to be designated “below-market” to comply with the city’s required allocation.Paskover expects the Villa Verona apartment and loft development to do well in part because of the demand for housing in Downtown, where hardly any new housing was added for years until developers in recent years began converting office buildings into apartments and creating new projects like Astani’s Villa Verona. Astani, which owns and operates 5,000 apartment units throughout Southern California and is developing 1,200 units, is also working on approvals and entitlements for condominiums at another Downtown location. The Villa Verona at, Wilshire Boulevard and Bixel Street, is one of a number of local development deals and dispositions for the company in the past year. In August, Astani sold the 628-unit Baywood Villa Apartments in Corona to Palo Alto-based Pacific Property Co. for $65.2 million, and earlier in 2004, the company sold the 270-unit Riverwalk at Town Center apartment complex in Valencia to Chicago’s Equity Residential REIT for approximately $48 million.

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