Chip Abele’s GCF lands $133M refi for Hollywood Circle mixed-use building

Deutsche Bank provided new terms on existing loan, boosted debt by $16M

Chip Abele’s GCF Development Nabs $133M Hollywood Circle Refi
Development’s Chip Abele and Peter Jago with the Hollywood Circle building at 1776 Polk Street in Hollywood (GCF, Circ Residences)

GCF Development landed a $133.5 million refinancing for a completed mixed-use project in downtown Hollywood. 

Deutsche Bank USA refinanced an existing $117.5 million debt it held on the Hollywood Circle development and increased the loan by $15.9 million, according to records. 

The deal comes amid an active South Florida real estate financing market. Construction loan and refinancing deals have continued in recent months, despite elevated interest rates. 

GCF, led by Chip Abele and Peter Jago, completed the 25-story Hollywood Circle at 1776 Polk Street in 2018, records show. The project is near ArtsPark at Young Circle.  

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

It consists of Circ Residences with 386 apartments, a 111-key The Circ hotel, 6,000 square feet of retail, a restaurant and rooftop bar, according to a GCF news release announcing the refinancing. The project also has a 48,000-square-foot Publix and a 1,500-square-foot Publix Liquors. 

BayBridge Real Estate Capital represented GCF in the deal. 

After GCF assembled the 3.2-acre development site in 2001, it partly relied on EB-5 financing from Chinese investors to fund construction. GCF scored a $125 million loan from Athene Asset Management and other lenders in 2019 to pay off a $60 million construction loan, according to records. In 2021, Deutsche Bank took over as lender on the remaining $115 million balance and boosted it to $117.5 million, according to records. 

GCF, based in Hollywood, is working on several projects in Broward County. Last week, the firm and partners Vertical Developments and WellDuo scored Fort Lauderdale commission approval for the 20-story, 36-condo Ocean Harbor at 3013 and 3019 Harbor Drive. 

In Hollywood, Abele and developer Ari Pearl, CEO of PPG Development, last year won a competitive bid to redevelop the city-owned Orangebrook Golf & Country Club at 400 Entrada Drive. The pair plan a 175-key hotel and 750 apartments on a portion of the property. The rest of Orangebrook will be redeveloped with help from golf course designer Rees Jones. 

Over the past couple of years, downtown Hollywood has undergone transformation with the rise of projects such as Hollywood Circle. BTI Partners, led by Noah Breakstone, won approval in 2022 of a two-tower, 856-apartment project with retail at 1701-1735 East Young Circle. The site is also near ArtsPark at Young Circle.   

Read more