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(Read more on the multifamily market and the debt and equity markets.)

CHICAGO-The local office of Meridian Capital Group, based in New York City, arranged $22.4 million in refinancing for a 10-building portfolio on the north side of the city owned by the Pacini Group, based here. The loan rate is 5.45% on a seven-year fixed term with a 30-year amortization, says Tannie Schnell, managing director of Meridian’s Chicago office. “They wanted to pull out some capital as well as take advantage of the extremely low rate,” Schnell says. The refinancing has a 75% loan-to-value ratio.

The portfolio has 505 units, with studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The portfolio has an average occupancy rate of between 96% and 97% and the monthly rents range from about $500 to $1,000. Additionally, one of the buildings has three retail spaces totaling about 3,000 sf, which are fully occupied. The average lease rate for the retail is about $12 per sf. Some of the buildings in the portfolio had been owned for 40 years and had different loan rates ranging “from the high 5′s to the 7′s,” he says. “Some of the notes were coming due,” Schnell says.

Meridian was able to lock in the interest rate “the day that the subprime numbers came out,” Schnell says. “We did a little bit earlier of a rate lock. We felt like [the rates] bottomed out.” The refinancing allowed the owner to take advantage of lower rates and use some of the equity in the building for the addition of some porches and some new windows. The buildings are not in need of major renovations. “They are extremely well maintained,” he says.

Meridian, which was founded in 1991, is a mortgage brokerage for multifamily and commercial real estate owners and has offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, California and Texas. Last year, Meridian had more than 2,500 transactions totaling more than $17 billion.

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