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NEWARK-Cogswell Realty Group has picked up a $65-million financing package for its Eleven 80 residential project in this city’s Downtown area. The project involves the conversion of a long-vacant vintage 1930s office tower into 317 rental apartments. The long-term, fixed-rate loan placed with Bear Stearns Commercial Mortgage Inc. will retire existing debt that was used to renovate and convert the property to its new use.”With all that has gone on in Newark over the past few years as part of the city’s renaissance, this project is one of the most important,” says senior managing director Jon Mikula of the Florham Park, NJ office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, who co-arranged the financing package. “It is the first new large-scale luxury residential development here in four decades,” says Mikula, who worked the deal with HFF managing director Jim Cadranell, also of the Florham Park office. The financing will be serviced by HFF as well.As reported by GlobeSt.com, Cogswell Realty started work on the conversion, which carries a reported price tag of $108 million, in early 2006. Located at 1180 Raymond Blvd., the 441,000-sf, 35-story art décor tower was completed in 1930 as the Lefcourt Building. The landmark tower was home to many prominent law firms over the years, but had been vacant for a decade prior to Cogswell’s conversion project began.The finished product includes everything from a bowling alley, to a half-court indoor basketball court, and spa and fitness club. Its Downtown location is near the new Prudential Arena, slated to open in the fall as the new home for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, as well as the Newark Bears minor league baseball stadium, a satellite campus of Seton Hall University and the Newark Penn Station transit hub.

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