Dealmaker: Cohen Financial Secures $24M for Land, Retail

Cohen Financial, Chicago, secured $18 million to refinance a land parcel in the Uptown Newport master planned development in Newport Beach, Calif.

The Orange County property includes entitlements for 225 townhomes or condominiums. 

Cohen Financial Managing Directors Mark Strauss and Robert Quarton secured the fixed-rate one-year loan with Terra Capital Partners, New York, for owner Shopoff Realty Investments, Irvine, Calif.

“Land is typically seen as one of the highest-risk asset classes,” Strauss said. “Since the downturn, the capital markets have been very reluctant to make land loans, which was probably our greatest challenge.”

But Strauss said due to the location, the parcel’s entitlements and the sponsor’s experience, a lender stepped up and the transaction closed within four weeks. 

The entire Uptown Newport project received approval for more than 1,200 multifamily and traditional residential units. Phase 1 of the development will deliver 455 apartment homes next year. 

Cohen Financial also closed a $6 million acquisition loan for Southwest Plaza, a 94,000-square-foot retail center in Roanoke, Va. A Food Lion grocery store anchors the center in a densely populated, high-traffic Roanoke neighborhood. 

Dan Rosenberg, managing director of Cohen Financial’s Chicago office, secured the 10-year, non-recourse commercial mortgage-backed securities loan with Morgan Stanley, New York for an affiliate of Streak Investments, a regional shopping center owner and operator. The loan closed at the end of July.