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BERKELEY, CA-SNK Realty and Real Estate Capital Partners have finalized construction financing for a 143-unit luxury condominium development for which excavation is underway in Downtown Berkeley. SNK’s president of development Don Peterson tells GlobeSt.com that San Francisco-based Pacific National Bank is providing $65 million in construction financing for the $80-million project.

“Capitalization was put in place in the third quarter of 2007 [before the credit markets fell apart] and since then we have been finalizing permitting and other pre-development activities,” he said.

Located at 2055 Center St., the Arpeggio of Berkeley will be a nine-story building housing 143 condominiums, 10,000 sf of administrative and theater space for the Berkeley Repertory Theater and 5,700 sf of street-level retail over three levels of underground parking. A dedicated public corridor through the property lined art will connect Center Street with the Arts & Theater District to the north on Addison Street.

In addition to their hopes the economy will be better by early 2010, SNK is betting on the fact that there is little or no competitive product ahead of it, that there are high barriers to entry and, because of those things, there will be pent-up demand. He sees the buyers being a mix of artists, professors, local business professionals and empty nesters.

The unit mix is approximately two-thirds one-bedroom units ranging from 500- to 800 sf and one-third two-bedroom units averaging 1,200 sf. Pro forma pricing is in the $700 per-sf range. Approximately 23 of the units will be made affordable to people with low- and very-low incomes, Peterson says.

Earlier this year, SNK secured $116.41 million in construction financing for the $163-million third phase of Crossing at San Bruno, which includes 187 condominium units and 163 apartment units in two five-story buildings that will sit atop a two-story parking structure. The lower loan-to-cost ratio is due to the fact that the financing was arranged in January of this year. Completion for that project also is slated for 2010.

“We believe the market as a whole will be on the upswing by then,” Peterson tells GlobeSt.com.

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