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MIAMI-Boca Raton-based developer Paramount Worldwide has received $216 million in financing from Corus Bank N.A. and iStar Financial for the 346-unit Paramount Bay condominium project at 2066 North Bayshore Dr. The project, which broke ground in April, expects to start the ground up construction in early 2007.

The project also received $30 million in mezzanine financing with Babcock & Brown. The $216 construction loan is the largest ever issued by Corus Bank. The funds will be used to construct the development, which will include 30,000 sf of retail and restaurant space. Paramount Worldwide director of finance Dung Lam tells GlobeSt.com that the loan will pay for the construction of the project, which is expected to cost approximately $300 million. “The capital markets are tighter than they have been in previous years so a lot more questions were asked for this project,” Lam says. “Lenders want to minimize their risk as much as possible.”

Lam adds that two areas lenders pay special attention to in today’s marketplace are construction costs and insurance. “They want to make sure they are providing enough money to finish the job, that the contracts we have in place are solid,” Lam says.

The project broke ground on April 1 with vertical construction expected to begin by early 2007. The project, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2009, is 75% sold. Units range in size from 1,236 to 2,423 sf and sales prices began in the $900,000s and reach $6.5 million for a penthouse. The retail area includes an existing residence that was featured in the film, “There’s Something About Mary,” and will be converted to a restaurant.

Paramount Bay is the first of a Paramount brand of condos, condo hotels and hotels that company plans nationwide. A 1,600-unit Paramount condo hotel project in Las Vegas is expected to break ground in summer 2007. Paramount is also developing Paramount Beach in Sunny Isles and Paramount Park in downtown Miami.

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