Dealmaker: Eastern Union Arranges $7M for Alabama Retail Center

Eastern Union, New York, arranged $7 million in financing for Baltimore-based CityWide Properties to acquire Crestwood Festival Centre, a shopping center in Birmingham, Ala.

Crestwood Festival Centre

CityWide paid $9.3 million for the 299,707-square-foot center.

Founded by Steve Verstandig in 2001, CityWide Properties is a real estate investment and management company that owns more than 75 properties in seven states, specializing in value-add assets affected by vacancies or mismanagement. The company manages 2.1 million square feet of retail space.

Marc Tropp, Senior Managing Director with Eastern Union, closed the deal. He secured a five-year mortgage at a 4.6 percent fixed rate. The financing allows one year of interest-only payments.

“Despite the widely recognized pressures facing America’s retail sector today, keen-eyed investors and managers are able to attract financing on good terms,” Tropp said.

The 41-acre Crestwood Festival Centre includes 44 retail suites. A Home Depot store shadow-anchors the 1989-vintage property. Verstandig said CityWide plans to invest $1.5 million in capital improvements at the center within the next 18 months.

The property had 15 vacancies when CityWide assumed ownership. Verstandig said his firm filled three of those empty spaces within 30 days. He added CityWide is negotiating with a grocery store chain regarding a 20,000-square-foot space.