Fort Lauderdale developers score $92M bridge loan for rental tower

3-year financing replaces $80M construction loan

4 West Las Olas
4 West Las Olas

Fort Lauderdale developers Scott Bodenweber and Tom Vogel scored $92 million in bridge financing for a newly completed apartment tower in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust, a New York-based mortgage real estate investment trust, provided senior debt of $76 million, while West Palm Beach-based Electra Capital retained a $16 million mezzanine loan, according to a press release.

Elevate One River LLC, led by Bodenweber and Vogel, is the developer of 4 West Las Olas, a 260-unit riverfront building at 4 West Las Olas Boulevard. It was completed in the first quarter of this year.

Denny St. Romain of Cushman & Wakefield brokered the loan. Greenberg Traurig’s Dan McCawley represented the developer, according to a press release. The three-year loan includes optional extensions.

The financing replaces an $80 million construction loan that Trez Forman Capital provided the developers for the 25-story rental tower in 2018. The building is between 58 percent and 65 percent leased, according to the releases.

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Samuel J. Greenblatt, CEO of Electra Capital, said in the release that the loan shows the demand for alternative forms of financing as a result of the pandemic’s impact on capital markets.

Last month, the developer of a nearly completed Hollywood apartment tower secured a $58 million bridge loan, also from Benefit Street Realty Partners. The financing also replaced a construction loan from Trez Forman.

The Las Olas building has 12,000 square feet of retail and a 407-space parking garage. Amenities include an entertainment lounge, rooftop pool, sky club room, fitness center, coffee bar and business center. The apartments, including penthouses, range from one to three bedrooms and from 588 square feet to 1,376 square feet.

The developers paid $24 million for the site in 2017.

A number of new apartment projects are in the pipeline in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Last month, Novo Las Olas, a 341-unit, 27-story building at The Main Las Olas, launched preleasing.