Eastern Union closes $7 million loan for Birmingham shopping center

Firm secures the financing for property management company

Eastern Union closes $7 million loan for Birmingham shopping center

Commercial brokerage Eastern Union has announced securing a $7 million loan for a shopping center in Birmingham, Ala.

Eastern Union closed the loan for CityWide Properties toward its acquisition of the 299,707-square-foot shopping plaza, purchased for $9.39 million. The center includes 44 retail suites and 980 parking spaces.

“CityWide Properties is proud of our record of success in renovating and leasing historic, mixed-use and commercial properties,” said Mr. Verstandig, president of CityWide Properties. “Over the years, we’ve forged a productive partnership with Eastern Union that has consistently secured the financing required to make our business formula work.”

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Verstandig said that CityWide plans to invest $1.5 million in capital within the coming months to enhance the property’s façade and parking lot, as well as improvements in overall aesthetics and other ameliorative measures. 

“When CityWide Properties assumed ownership of the site last month, the property had 15 vacancies,” Eastern Union said in a statement. “Mr. Verstandig reports that three of those spaces had been filled within 30 days of taking possession of the venue. He also said CityWide Properties is in ‘serious talks’ with a local grocery store chain over potential occupancy of 20,000 square feet of space.”

Founded in 2001, CityWide manages and leases more than 75 properties in seven states. It specializes in value-add assets that have been impacted by vacancies or mismanagement.

The closing of the multimillion-dollar financing was credited to Eastern Union managing director Marc Tropp. He secured a five-year mortgage with a fixed interest rate of 4.6%. The funding allows for 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. “I’ve had the privilege of representing CityWide Properties for many years, and the lending community has long stood behind the wisdom of their investment strategy.”