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SAN DIEGO-The owner of a rare beachfront entertainment and retail property called Wave House Belmont Park is paying a much lower interest rate and now has funds for further improvements after Cushman & Wakefield’s San Diego Real Estate Finance Group arranged a $17 million refinancing of the 104,710-sf property. Scott Abell, who arranged the financing along with Jesse Lowe of Cushman & Wakefield, tells GlobeSt.com that the new loan reimburses owner Wave House Belmont Park LLC for some of the improvements already made to the property and provides funds for new improvements at what is truly a one-of-a-kind oceanside development.

The Wave House Belmont Park, at 3106-3146 Mission Blvd. and 3105-3125 Ocean Front Walk in the Mission Beach area of San Diego, features an indoor swimming pool, a machine that creates artificial waves for surfing, a roller coaster, carnival rides, restaurants and retail space on property that is on a ground lease with the City of San Diego. “This is not a conventional shopping center, so when you’re talking to lenders about it, something like this can be a difficult sell,” Abell says. “It took us a year to put this deal together, and probably at least seven or eight months of that was working with the lender because this was such an unusual property.”

Abell explains that the center, which was originally built in 1925, had fallen into disrepair and was burdened with significant vacancy when Wave House Belmont Park LLC took it over and rehabilitated the entire center. The Wave House group refurbished the roller coaster, installed more carnival rides, added retail and restaurant space, brought in new tenants, added security and landscaping, redesigned and re-tenanted the restaurants around a “Wave House” theme, added a lifeguard tower and installed the artificial wave machine.

The result is a property that has been very successful, Abell says, noting that the improvements the owners made with their own money before applying for the $17 million refinancing helped to secure the loan. The owner now has a two-year term with a one-year extension on it, amortized over 30 years, at a floating rate of prime plus three-quarters of a percentage point. That’s far lower than the private financing that was on the property when the owner bought it, Abell points out.

“They had a very high interest rate loan from a private loan source,” Abell remarks. The refinancing replaced the high-interest loan that was maturing and added funds to it for repayment of improvements that have already been made to the property as well as for some new improvements that the owners plan.

The bridge financing that Cushman & Wakefield arranged is a portfolio loan that is a lot like a construction loan, Abell notes. He says that the owner of the property will expect to convert to permanent financing in a couple of years.

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