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HOUSTON-A local developer has obtained $85 million in construction financing to pave the way for its 428,979-sf Energy Tower II. A 376,000-sf prelease for the class A office project and the developer’s track record underwrite the financing.

Mac Haik Development LLC will break ground on Energy Tower II in the Energy Plaza Office Park at Interstate 10 and Kirkwood Road in February. The project will be completed by fall 2009, at which time Technip USA will begin its long-term lease for 376,000 sf.

John Burke, senior vice president and managing director in Houston for Minneapolis-based NorthMarq Capital Inc., says the prelease was particularly attractive to Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, NC and Guaranty Bancshares Inc. of Mt. Pleasant, TX. Guaranty also helped to finance the development of the 339,559-sf Energy Tower I at 11700 Old Katy Rd.

“Having the tenant influenced the price and influenced the type of loan the borrower obtained,” Burke says. “These days, lenders are more comfortable with loans in increments of $35 million to $40 million rather than the larger loans of $85 million to $100 million.” The interest-only, floating-rate loan has a 36-month term with two 12-month option extensions.

Also in Mac Haik’s favor was the success of Energy Plaza I, which was completed and sold a few years ago, according to Burke. “They’d built that one on time, fully leased it up on schedule and ultimately sold it for a large profit to Franklin Street,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “It proved the borrower could be successful in a full-cycle deal.”

Burke says the developer already has plans for Energy Plaza Office Park’s third phase, which will include a hotel. NorthMarq is arranging financing for the project.

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