Ratkovich scores $225M to refinance troubled Bloc loan

A rendering of the Bloc
A rendering of the Bloc

The Ratkovich Company said it has obtained a $225 million loan to refinance the Bloc, a 1.1 million-square-foot office and retail redevelopment it’s working on at 700 S. Flower Street in Downtown L.A.

The financing will replace a troubled CMBS loan inherited by Ratkovich when it bought the project for $241 million in 2012. That loan was transferred in February to special servicer CWCapital Asset Management because of concerns that Ratkovich and its partners, National Real Estate Advisors and Blue Vista Capital, wouldn’t be able to pay the balance when the loan matured in April.

A spokesperson for the company said the refinancing should “assuage concerns surrounding the project’s status” but didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the identity of the lender, saying only that it was an “institutional balance sheet lender.”

In a statement, company CEO Wayne Ratkovich said the project was on strong financial footing.

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“As we enter the final stretch of construction, this financial commitment underscores the collective excitement we all share for the future impact of this project,” he said. “The added flexibility provided by this investment will help us to continue realizing our goal of providing Angelenos with a truly transformational community cornerstone at the Bloc.”

John Crump, Paul Brindley and Matt Stewart of HFF brokered the loan deal. None of the brokers immediately responded to requests for comment.

After several delays, the Bloc is slated to finally open this summer, anchored by Macy’s. The project, which has long served the narrative of Downtown L.A.’s retail renaissance and as a boon for retail financing in the area, was originally slated to open by the end of 2015.