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FORT MYERS, FL-CBL & Associates Properties and its partner have landed $190.8 million in permanent financing that retires a $143.6 million construction loan for the Gulf Coast Town Center and generates proceeds for CBL and its partner in the project, the Richard E. Jacobs Group. The new financing is a 10-year, non-recourse interest-only loan at 5.6% that replaces a variable rate construction loan.

Chattanooga, TN-based CBL and Cleveland-based Jacobs are developing the 1.2-million-sf phase one and phase two of Gulf Coast Town Center on the I-75 corridor between Fort Myers and Naples at 9903 Gulf Coast Main St. in a 50/50 joint venture. The project features more than a dozen anchor stores, two hotels andapproximately 120 specialty shops and restaurants, with phase one including SuperTarget, Babies “R” Us, JoAnn Fabrics, Linen’s ‘N Things, Petco, Staples, Kirkland’s and a 16-screen Regal Cinema. The developers opened the lifestyle phase of the center in March with Bass Pro Shops, Belk, JCPenney and Best Buy.

Other anchor stores, retailers and restaurants include Borders, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Costco, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Bar Louie, Miller’s Ale House, Calistoga Cafe, R.J. Gators and Blu Sushi, as well as a 134-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 116-room Residence Inn by Marriott. Phase Three of the project will include additional junior anchors and small shop space and will begin construction in the coming months.

Upon completion, the Gulf Coast Town Center will feature 15 anchors, two hotels and approximately 120 specialty shops and restaurants. The project will feature a large common area called Market Plaza at the west end of the site that will be anchored by Ron Jon Surf Shop and Borders. It will feature restaurants, a customer service center, a performance stage, a large grassed area for viewing performances, a water feature with sculptures, a shaded pavilion, kiosks and an interactive beach-themed play area with marine-life sculptures and outdoor seating.

Bass Pro Shops will overlook a 24-acre lake that will be used to test-drive boats, fishing gear and outdoor recreational equipment. At the center of the project is a large gathering space for use by nearby university students, as well as the public, called University Plaza, that will include a decorative fountain, park benches, shaded areas and free Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Jacobs Group is a privately held development firm, founded in 1955, that has developed and owned more than 40 major mall properties throughout the US. Among its other properties are the 630-acre Chagrin Highlands corporate complex in Cleveland and the 1.4-million-sf Cypress Creek Town Center in PascoCounty, Florida.

CBL is a publicly traded developer of malls and shopping centers that holds interests in or manages 131 properties, including 79 regional malls and open-air centers. The properties are located in 27 states and total 74.4 million sf including 2.2 million sf of nonowned shopping centers managed for third parties. CBL’s development pipeline includes 14 projects totaling 2.5 million sf.

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