Former US ambassador refinances Lincoln Road property with $70M loan

Loan refinances existing debt with $40M advance

May.May 13, 2016 03:45 PM

Paul Cejas, a former U.S. ambassador to Belgium and the head of PLC Investments, just refinanced his flagship property on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road with a $70 million loan.

The loan was announced by law firm Holland & Knight, which represented lender Ocean Bank for the deal. It covers the landmarked mixed-use building at 420 Lincoln Road, which is well known for its most visible tenants: Zara, McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Holland & Knight attorney Elena Otero told The Real Deal that the loan refinances existing debt on the property, and the owners will also have access to an advance of $40.35 million. She, along with H&K partner Joe Dewey, were the attorneys on Ocean Bank’s side of the deal. The bank’s agents Rafael Gonzalez-Jacobo and Rogelio Villarreal were also involved.

County records show the 256,729-square-foot building is owned by 420 Lincoln Road Associates, LTD, which is controlled by Cejas.

Cuban-born Cejas, who moved to Miami in the 1960s, is well known for his three-year tenure as a U.S. ambassador to Belgium beginning in 1998. He also founded one of the country’s largest Hispanic-owned businesses, CareFlorida Health Systems, which was bought out by Foundation Health for $250 million in 1994.

In Miami Beach, Cejas picked up his holdings at 420 Lincoln Road for $14.5 million in 1997, according to county records.

He landed Zara as a tenant in 2014 when the clothing brand was looking for a spot to open its flagship location in Miami. The appeal of Lincoln Road really must have set in, because a year later, Zara owner Amancio Ortega paid $370 million to purchase an entire block of the street.

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