CGI Merchant Group LLC secures $23.4 million CMBS loan for iconic Coral Gables property

MIAMI, Sep 8, 2014/BUSINESS WIRE)- CGI Merchant Group LLC (CGI), a private-equity, alternative investment manager focusing on commercial real estate and infrastructure, today announced that it has secured $23.4 million in financing for its mixed-use property located at 55 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables through New York-based commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) lender, Rialto Group. The property was refinanced this month and reappraised at a valuation of $29.1 million, an increase from its original purchase price less than a year ago. In addition, the property received an investment grade rating from Fitch Ratings.

“This is a significant transaction, and one that underscores what we already knew from the onset – that 55 Miracle Mile is a highly qualified asset with core credit tenants”

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“Today’s announcement once again speaks to CGI’s ability to recognize value where others don’t,” said Raoul Thomas, CEO of CGI Merchant Group. “Last year, when others were simply looking at this property from an occupancy standpoint, feeling that it had already been fully stabilized, we had a different perspective. Instead, our extensive due diligence involved looking at rent per square foot, as well as the area’s trending comps in this regard, which pointed to an entirely different story.”

Purchased in October 2013 for $26.75 million, 55 Miracle Mile comprises 65,242 square feet of retail and office space, and includes a 402-space parking garage. Commercial tenants include HSBC Bank, Ben & Jerry’s, Tarpon Bend, among other notable global brands. Since its purchase, CGI has made capital improvements to the property, including cosmetic changes and upgrades to the building’s exterior, corridors and lighting system, as well as its interior office spaces, which in turn has generated increased traffic and interest in the property.

CGI additionally closed on a $23.4 million loan through New York-based CMBS investment bank, Rialto Group. Issued as a bond, the loan will refinance the old acquisition debt and set up capital reserves and tenant improvement reserves to leverage the strongest commercial asset on Miracle Mile.

“This is a significant transaction, and one that underscores what we already knew from the onset – that 55 Miracle Mile is a highly qualified asset with core credit tenants,” added Thomas. Also this month, the property was successfully refinanced and reappraised at $29.1 million by investment firm lender, Karlin Real Estate Group.

A busy period for the Miami-based firm, CGI announced last month the successful refinancing and valuation of its West Palm Beach property, Office Commons, consisting of four Class “A” office buildings located in Wellington, Stuart, and West Palm Beach, Florida. Following several capital improvements, the properties were reappraised at a valuation of nearly double the initial purchase price.

About CGI Merchant Group

CGI Merchant Group (CGI) is a private-equity, alternative investment manager that capitalizes on commercial real estate and infrastructure opportunities by using an entrepreneurial approach to building stakeholder value. Within the past six months, the Firm has deployed more than $150 million of capital in multiple assets classes including retail, office, and leisure. The Firm has a wealth of knowledge of the capital markets – which combined with their ingenuity and experience – distinguishes them from other alternative investment managers. The CGI team is comprised of contrarian, value-oriented investors in real estate and infrastructure focused on risk management. They operate their investment and capital management platform in an integrated manner, leveraging key relationships with Torus Capital Group, a boutique real estate investment banking firm. This is the CGI investment management philosophy.

View the press release as published in BusinessWire