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With 2017 Approaching, South Florida’s Real Estate Market Is Still Kicking

Keeping up with South Florida tradition, a number of big-dollar real estate deals have marked the last few weeks of the year.

Starting with a major step forward for the $2 billion Miami Worldcenter project, developers CIM Group and Falcone Group scored a hefty construction loan for the project’s 444-unit apartment complex.

The $89 million loan will fuel construction of the development’s east tower — the first phase of the Seventh Street Apartments, a two-tower rental community near Northeast First Avenue and Northeast Seventh Street in downtown Miami, according to a news release.

Fifth Third Bank in Ohio and Boston’s Santander Bank were the lenders — a prized catch for developers racing to secure capital to propel their projects forward.

Landing a construction loan has become increasingly difficult for new residential product in South Florida, especially from traditional bank lenders. Howard Taft, senior managing director with Aztec Group Inc., has noted that banks have all but exited the construction lending market. While alternative lenders have stepped up to fill the void, they tend to up their loan pricing and deal strictly with top-tier developers, essentially squeezing smaller builders out of the marketplace.

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