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AUSTIN, TX-RockBridge Capital LLC provided high-leveraged participating debt financing of just north of $19 million to LodgeWorks LP for its aloft Austin Northwest hotel development. Construction was launched on the 140-room hotel in late 2008, with completion anticipated for Q4, 2009.

Adam Valente, senior vice president with Columbus, OH-based RockBridge Capital tells GlobeSt.com that another aloft project has been approved in Austin. The aloft Austin Northwest at the 605-acre Domain on the area’s northwest side, will be the first to open in the Austin area.

“LodgeWorks is a strong developer and operator, and we have a good relationship with them,” Valente comments. Additionally, RockBridge liked the area dynamics, especially those at the Domain, on which a second phase construction is underway. “There are high-end retail and other amenities at the Domain. Plus there are a lot of strong corporate users in the area, making the lodging fundamentals strong,” Valente notes.

He says the loan, which consists of a first mortgage and mezzanine financing, carries an overall interest rate on the investment, though he declined to name the rate. He did say the terms are seven years for both loans. “This structure worked well for LodgeWorks and for both parties,” Valente explains. “Higher leverage enables LodgeWorks to spread their equity around to other projects.”

Valente adds that RockBridge is also working with the Wichita, KS-based LodgeWorks on financing for a new development in the Houston area and said details on that would be unveiled shortly. LodgeWorks is building 70-key AVIA hotel, which will anchor the mixed-use Market Street at The Woodlands in Houston’s far north submarket.

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