By Katherine Kallergis
A $200 million mortgage for a luxury apartment complex led a ranking of the biggest loans to close in Palm Beach County in the third quarter of this year, according to The Real Deal’s analysis of county records.
Only one office property made the cut – the Golden Bear Plaza in Palm Beach Gardens. The majority of the biggest mortgages were for multifamily properties, both under construction and newly acquired.
“We’re in the late stage of the current real estate cycle, so we have to be a little bit more careful,” said Ruben Pedron, senior vice president and Florida market manager for commercial real estate at SunTrust Bank. SunTrust, which has worked on retail and office deals, is still financing construction loans and mortgages for value-add properties but is looking to finance more stabilized properties at this stage in the cycle.
This year, the county has seen a few value-add deals, especially in the retail and office sectors. The seventh largest loan to close in the third quarter was the $62.3 million sale of Golden Bear Plaza, which was financed with a $44.3 million mortgage from Värde.
Mutifamily and industrial have been the strongest asset classes this year, said David Wigoda, senior vice president at CBRE Capital Markets. He expects that to continue into next year.
While fewer hotels have traded, Wigoda said “non-essential retail is probably the weakest” sector of the commercial real estate market in Palm Beach County. “Secondary centers that don’t have much of a draw for shoppers are going to continue to suffer,” he said, excluding grocery store-anchored properties.