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CGI Merchant Group refinances entire office portfolio

CGI Merchant Group has refinanced its West Palm Beach property consisting of four Class A office buildings at a valuation significantly higher than the initial purchase price.

The properties, comprising 200,000 square feet of commercial space, were purchased by CGI just over a year ago for USD10.5 million dollars. 
 
CGI has refinanced the properties through Prime Finance, a private New York-based balance sheet lender. The properties were re-appraised at a valuation of nearly double the initial purchase price.
 
“Today’s announcement reflects the hard work by the CGI team and is a testament to the type of ‘outside the box’ thinking we bring to the table,” says CGI Merchant Group chief executive Raoul Thomas. “Whereas others may have viewed these properties as a no-go, we saw them as a no-brainer. Through a combination of capital improvements and an aggressive push to sign a diverse group of business tenants, these properties have significantly grown in occupancy and value, and there is more to come.”
 
Since purchasing the four buildings, CGI has invested more than a quarter of a million dollars in capital improvements including enhancements to the building exteriors and utilities. CGI is currently in the process of installing a brand new telecommunications system at the properties, with plans for more than half a million dollars in capital upgrades in the future.
 
Occupancy rates have risen from 64 to 85 per cent in just over a year.
 
“We made a commitment to improve Office Commons in order to attract more tenants and play a greater role in generating economic activity for the area, and so we are very pleased to announce this refinancing. This achieves the full stabilisation strategy employed by us during the last year as we grew occupancy, made capital improvements, and deployed a new management framework. We are proud to say that the hard work has paid off,” says Thomas.
 
The firm recently acquired two flagship properties in South Florida – 55 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, Florida and 1100 Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami – and will be making significant capital improvements to both locations in the coming months.

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