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HOUSTON-VIP Investment No. 5 has secured two separate loans totaling close to $5.5 million for a refinance of the 221,954-square-foot Harwin Business Center. The borrower, which received financing from Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., is using the funding to retire a maturing loan on the office building.

Tip Strickland, vice president with Grandbridge Real Estate Capital LLC’s Houston office says the owner has owned the multi-building asset at 7540-7596 Harwin Dr. for more than 15 years. That, coupled with the asset’s strong track record, helped ease the search for financing, says Strickland, who arranged the loans.

The five-year loans are structured at a 6% interest rate and 25-year amortizations. Strickland says two were structured, in the event that the owner wanted to sell one of the buildings down the road. Right now, however, VIP Investment No. 5 will hang onto the 1970s asset.

“The property has operated very well, with 90-plus occupancy,” Strickland adds. “That, and the sponsorship, brought a lot of credibility to the deal.” He says several lenders were interested in the project, but ultimately, a previous relationship with the Birmingham, AL-based financer was the deciding factor.

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