Melo Group scores $95M construction loan for Aria on the Bay

Renderings of Melo Groups' Aria on the Bay project in Miami's Edgewater neighborhood
Renderings of Melo Groups' Aria on the Bay project in Miami's Edgewater neighborhood

The Melo Group just sealed $95 million in construction financing for its Aria on the Bay project in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood — but the developer said it might not even need the money.

The loan, issued by Ocean Bank, covers the Aria development site at 1770 North Bayshore Drive that’s already under construction.

Melo is putting up most of the construction costs with its own equity and buyer deposits, so the company could end up sitting on the loan, according to a news release about the financing. In December, the company announced it had reached $200 million in sales for the project in the Edgewater neighborhood. 

“We are not sure if we are going to need to tap into this source of funding to complete Aria on the Bay, but it is always good to get the endorsement of a reputable financial institution,” Carlos Melo, principal of the Melo Group, said in the release. “Obtaining this loan says a lot about our trustworthiness, our track record and, most importantly, about our financial strength. That is something a condo buyer wants to know about a developer when making a deposit to buy a unit.”

The 53-story tower, designed by Arquitectonica, will house 647 residences when it’s completed. Units come in one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations, with prices ranging from $400,000 to more than $12 million for the three-story penthouses.

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Amenities include a 14th-floor deck with four pools and outdoor kitchens, plus a spa, fitness facility and private theater.

Its lower floors will house 20,000-square-feet of commercial space split between offices, retail and restaurants.

Holland & Knight’s real estate partner Joe Dewey represented Ocean Bank in the deal with the help of associates Elena Otero and Brett Holland.

For Ocean Bank, Eddie Diaz, Senior vice president and regional manager; and Ralph Gonzalez-Jacobo, Executive vice president and head of lending and retail banking; and Manuel del Cañal, Executive vice president and head of wealth management, led the transaction.

Melo expects construction to wrap up by 2017. Site work has already begun, and vertical construction will start in September. — Sean Stewart-Muniz