The Real Deal Miami

Hollywood Circle, largely funded by Chinese EB-5 investors, scores $60M loan

City National Bank of Florida provided the loan for the mixed-use project, now under construction

Rendering of Hollywood Circle and Chip Abele

Updated July 17, 1:30 p.m.: South Florida developer Charles “Chip” Abele just scored a $60 million loan for his Hollywood Circle mixed-use project under construction in downtown Hollywood, property records show.

Abele received the financing from City National Bank of Florida. Before topping off in March, the 25-story development located along Tyler Street on the northeast side of Young Circle Park, was being built debt-free.

Hollywood Circle was largely funded by Chinese EB-5 investors, with most of the financing coming from foreign nationals who channeled $109 million through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, a program that provides permanent residency in the United States to qualified investors and their families.

About 76 percent of the EB-5 financing came from Chinese investors. Abele and five other main partners provided the rest of the financing. Before topping off the total cost of Hollywood Circle, including land acquisition, reached around $192 million, according to Abele.

Hollywood Circle, located north of Hollywood Boulevard and east of U.S. 1, will offer 389 rental apartments and a 111-room boutique hotel, plus a restaurant spanning nearly 10,000 square feet and a Publix supermarket.

Monthly rents for the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will begin in the upper $2,000s.

The building has three sections at heights of 11, 21 and 25 stories, and will feature an eighth-floor recreation deck for apartment tenants and a 12th-floor recreation deck for hotel guests, each with a swimming pool. Stiles Corp. is the project’s general contractor.

Cohen Freedman Encinosa & Associates of Miami Lakes designed Hollywood Circle. The Gettys Group is the project’s hotel’s main interior designer.

The developers bought 24 parcels to assemble the site in 2001 – the largest being a 12-story building called the Town House Apartments. The site used to be home to a Greyhound Bus terminal, smaller apartment buildings, two gas stations, a Papa John’s drive-in pizza store, and a vacant lot and parking lot.

Amid the current market slowdown, finding funding for new developments can be challenging in the increasingly tight lending atmosphere in South Florida.

Jerry Hollo, of Florida East Coast Realty, recently said finding sponsorship is a big issue in South Florida. “They’re going to make sure you have a track record of being able to finish a project,” he said at The Real Deal‘s Broward Forum & Showcase.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misrepresented the amount of money channeled through EB-5 investors and the percentage of Chinese investors.