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DALLAS-Locally based RM Crowe has replaced a floating-rate bank loan with $25.3 million in fixed-rate financing from GE Real Estate for a 162,112-sf office tower that it bought three years ago in Preston Center. The refuelling will subsidize renovation of common areas, leasing commissions and tenant improvements.

The refinance will put $1.4 million at RM Crowe’s disposal for the upcoming work on the 95%-leased, class B-plus building at 8235 Douglas Ave. according to Lance Wright, regional director in Dallas for the Norwalk, CT-based lender. He tells GlobeSt.com that $23.9 million was turned over in the initial funding, with the balance to be doled out at Libor-based interest rates in $500,000 incremental draw-downs. The result will be a blended interest rate on a three-year loan, with the lion’s share fixed at about 6%, he explains. The interest-only financing represents 80% loan to value.

The 13-story office tower and seven-story, 460-space parking garage abuts RM Crowe’s Fidelity Bank Building and is across the street from its Park Cities Hilton, a stronghold in one of the city’s tightest office submarkets. Wright says GE provided an on-book loan, a decision mortared by the location, asset quality and longstanding relationship between borrower and lender.

“We’re a little more particular as far as the assets we invest in and the markets. It’s a class B plus because of its age, but it’s a class A location,” Wright stresses. He cited the “irreplaceable location” and “quality of the real estate” as the dealmakers. The building was developed in 1979 on a 1.75-acre tract.

The 43-tenant building’s lead is Frost Bank. Wright says leases roll gradually over the next five years, but that opens the door for the owner to bump rents to market rate. The current rate is $23 per sf to $24 per sf, with 50 cent per sf annual bumps. “Keeping this building occupied is not a risk,” he adds, pointing out that longevity is commonplace for the tenant base.

RM Crowe’s make-over plan includes renovating several floors in addition to funding leasing demands. “GE Real Estate has been a reliable financing source for us for many years and provided the funding we needed to maximize the value of this quality property,” R. Maurice Crowe Jr., the borrower’s CEO, says in a press release.

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