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LINCOLN, RI-Plans to revitalize an aging 285,000-sf commercial building here into multi-tenanted office space have gotten the needed financial aid after CBRE/Melody secured $27.5 million in loans for 1 Albion Rd.’s new ownership. Just over 50% of the building will continue to be occupied by AT Cross, a stipulation reached when that business products firm divested the asset to Albion Crossing LLC. The $15.7-million sale/leaseback arrangement of the 43-year-old asset was reported earlier this month by GlobeSt.com.

Working in tandem with CBRE’s brokerage group in Providence, managing director Frank Petz and senior analyst Deb Dalton of CBRE/Melody’s Boston team arranged $6 million in equity financing and a $21.5-million bridge loan for Albion Crossing, a joint venture between Gray’s Point Investments and Perseus Realty Partners. According to Dalton, many lenders were eager to support the venture, citing a combination of improving market conditions, solid ownership and steady cash flow from the 10-year, 155,000-sf leaseback to AT Cross.

“As a lender, when you have all three of those dynamics together, it becomes easy for them to do the deal,” Dalton tells GlobeSt.com, with the only impediment being size minimums of certain funding sources. Among the prospects CBRE/Melody tapped into, Dalton says “nobody was not interested” in participating. Neither Dalton nor Petz, who praised the cooperation between his office and CBRE’s Providence brokers, would identify the lenders.

CBRE/Melody did say the equity finance came via a Washington, DC-based institutional fund, whereas a “national CDO lender” made the bridge loan. Dalton says the CDO lender specializes in value-added opportunities, a sector growing in popularity as such sources pursue higher returns. The bridge loan has a term of three years and a pair of one-year options.

The capital will allow 1 Albion Rd.’s ownership the resources to attract tenants to about 130,000 sf of space not occupied by AT Cross, says GPI president Rob Manning, with work slated to begin in May. “We believe the asset can be quickly and efficiently repositioned into large-floor plate, general office product, an asset class which is virtually non-existent in the suburban Providence market today,” says Manning. For some reason, according to Dalton, only a handful of Rhode Island buildings have floor plates of 20,000 sf or more. The location is also favorable, she says, with 1 Albion Rd. right next to Smithfield, a community benefiting greatly by the presence of Fidelity Investments.

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