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MARATHON, FL-Miami-based Peebles Corp. has obtained $83 million in construction financing for the development of Manoir Resort Villas. The project will bring 72 units to five acres at mile marker 54.

The financing was obtained from Fremont Investment & Loan, which has financed other Peebles projects in Miami, Washington, DC and San Francisco. Each villa will have an average of 1,500 sf with two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a private elevator and rooftop terraces. Units will be furnished, with prices from $1.8 million. A sales and marketing campaign for the property will begin this month with construction expected to begin in July.

The project, which has an estimated sell-out of $135 million, is expected to be completed in mid-2009, Peebles project manager Barron Channer tells GlobeSt.com. “We are generating interest from buyers in South Florida, the Northeast and Midwest,” Channer says. “We anticipate buyers to be primarily second home buyers to be used as vacation homes.”

Marathon is the largest island in the Middle Keys, situated 103 miles south of Miami and 53 miles north of Key West. With the area experiencing recent growth, Delta Airlines announced plans to add daily, nonstop flights to the Marathon Airport from Atlanta. Other airlines are expected to follow suit.

The project will be on the site of the Key Colony Bay Motel at 13351 Overseas Highway, which Peebles acquired for $28.3 million and will be demolished. Advisors to the sellers of the property, Marathon Hotel Partners, were CBRE Hotels senior vice president Robert Taylor and CBRE Multi-Housing Group executive vice president Robert Given.

“With the high demand for waterfront property in the Florida Keys, we were able to identify a buyer who believes in the future upside through repositioning of the property and additional development potential,” Taylor says.

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