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PANAMA CITY, FL-Creekstone Florida Holdings LLC is investing in its first real estate venture with the planned development of Island Reserve, a 299 condominium and townhomes community in this North Florida resort area.

Equus Inc. of Houston is providing a two-year, $4.25-million mezzanine loan at a 19% interest rate to the affiliate of Houston-based Creekstone Cos., Brett Chiles at Equus Inc. tells GlobeSt.com. Gregg Nelson, Creekstone’s director of acquisitions, couldn’t be reached by GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline to learn the estimated development cost of the project, the estimated groundbreaking and completion dates and where Creekstone is obtaining additional funding to complete the venture.

However, area construction sources familiar with comparable condo-townhome undertakings in the Florida Panhandle tell GlobeSt.com the recent increase in construction materials will translate to a minimum hard construction cost of at least $200,000 per unit or an estimated total $60 million to build Island Reserve.

In a prepared statement, Sam P. Douglass, co-chairman of Equus, says Creekstone “concentrates on institutional quality assets, each generally less than $75 million in total cost, within geographic regions that maintain long-term employment and strong population growth trends.”

Anthony Moore, co-chairman, CEO and president of Equus, says in the same statement his company “believes the current real estate market provides excellent opportunities for growth.” Everett Jackson, principal and co-founder of Creekstone, adds, “We hope our relationship develops into an ongoing investment partnership that will be beneficial to all parties and shareholders.”

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