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RICHARDSON, TX-A retail redevelopment pro has secured a loan of nearly $27.8 million to buy the 203,526-sf Richardson Heights Village from its six-year owner while carving out $3.25-million hold-back to support the repositioning play.

To make the close, Shafer Property Co. got a two-year, interim loan with a floating rate at 225 points over Libor from Charlotte, NC-based Wachovia Bank, says Brad Donnell, senior director for Metropolitan Capital Advisors Ltd. of Dallas. “It’s got a lot of potential and that’s what Steve [Shafer] is good at, unlocking potential,” he says about the 19-acre asset at 100 S. Central Expressway. “It’s right up his alley.”

Hopkins Commercial Real Estate Inc. of Dallas put the 40-tenant center on the market in July, hiring Thomas Salanty of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. to steer the sale. Donnell tells GlobeSt.com that about half of the leases roll in the next two years in the 70%-filled center, but that’s not as ominous as it sounds because many were long-term deals inked years ago and are well below the market rate of $16 per sf to $20 per sf. The long-time tenants have been paying roughly $12 per sf to $14 per sf, he says.

Donnell says it’s anticipated existing national and local tenants will renew, as is expected for the Jack in the Box which has a 20-year lease expiring this month. The broad spectrum of leases ranges from a 480-sf barber shop to a 30,000-sf Pep Boys Automotive Center. Other top-draw tenants are Party City, TJ Maxx, McDonalds and Taj Mahal Imports.

Donnell says Wachovia’s Dallas team of Michael Mellott and Paul Bryant pulled together terms within 21 days after participation and loan limit issues arose with the original lender, American National Bank in Terrell, TX. The floating-rate loan kicks in at 6.57% interest. “It’s almost designed as a construction loan,” he says, adding the hold-back will be used for renovation, tenant finish-outs and leasing commissions. The renovation will get under way in the first quarter, he says.

According to Donnell, Richardson Heights Village was built in the mid-1950s at Belt Line Road and Central Expressway by Lindsay Embrey and George Underwood Jr. for $2 million. Dallas County tax records show Hopkins Commercial bought it in January 1999 from the Embrey estate.

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