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(To read more on the debt and equity markets, click here.)

GLENDALE, AZ-The Ellman Cos. secures a bridge loan to keep construction moving on the 505,000-sf first phase to the mixed-use Westgate City Center.

Jeff Teetsel with Fremont Investment & Loan’s Phoenix office arranged a floating-rate package at 350 basis points over a six-month period. Construction began last fall on the 223-acre development, which will total 6.5 million sf at build-out.

“The terms are three-and-a-half years on the bridge loan, but financing can be converted into a mini-perm loan upon stabilization,” David Sotolov, assistant vice president of the Santa Monica, CA-based Fremont, tells GlobeSt.com. The first phase will deliver in summer 2006. For previous story, click here.

According to the Phoenix developer’s point man Jeffrey Hecht, “the loan closing facilitates things in terms of the project.” The first phase of construction is estimated at “just north of $140 million,” he says, “and close to $800 million for the overall project.”

Hecht says “we’re moving very well along with preleasing,” adding the focus clearly is retail and restaurant users along with office tenants for loft-style designs. In June, Hecht told GSR that the first wave of space–275,000 sf of retail and 230,000 sf of class A office–was 60% preleased and had enough letters of intent to hike it by another 18%.

Hecht previously said another phase of construction could begin in early 2006, adding at least 300,000 sf and a 400-unit residential district. The second phase also calls for a 463,000-sf destination retail center, 105,000-sf neighborhood retail development and at least one garden-style office building.

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