PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL-Menin Development Co. obtains a $140-million permanent, fixed-rate loan on Downtown at the Gardens, a 344,165-sf lifestyle center on Gardens Parkway. This replaces and improves the rate on the locally based developer’s $116.7-million construction loan.

Marc Yavinsky, VP and branch manager of the Boca Raton loan origination office of GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., arranged the refinancing through TIAA-CREF. The lender “offered the borrower flexibility in the loan structure and worked closely with Menin to close the loan prior to all of the tenants taking occupancy,” he says.

In January 2005, Robert Jacoby, Menin’s VP and COO, told, GSR’s sister website, that the center would be leased at the opening, and “we may hold back some space in order to obtain the right mix.” He described that as “an appropriate mix of nationally known restaurants and specialty retailers unique to this area.” Tenants began moving in last November.

“I feel this property fills a tremendous void in the local retail market,” Yavinsky says. “What is so unique about this open-air shopping center is that a majority of the tenants are setting up shop for the very first time in Florida, and (the center) is not saturated with common anchors and tenants, but rather specialty shops and restaurants.”

The anchors are a 68,087-sf Cobb Theater and a 42,592-sf Whole Foods Market. Among the in-line tenants are: Sur LaTable, Z Gallerie, Urban Outfitters, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, Storehouse and Smith & Hawken. National restaurants include: Cheesecake Factory, Yard House, Rosa Mexicana, Ra Sushi, City Kitchen, Max’s Steak House and the Strip House.

GMACCM previously arranged the construction loan for the locally based developer. Noting the company had been there “from the beginning,” Craig Menin, president, said, “their insight and assistance with the capital markets has been an invaluable asset to us.” He also said the developer had a “next series of upscale, open-air retail and mixed-use projects in South Florida currently under development.”

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