Bostonia Finances Development of New NOAA Center

Bostonia Partners LLC, the investment banking arm of Bostonia Group LLC, closed on $71.525 million in lease-backed secured notes for the construction to permanent financing of a GSA credit tenant lease in Riverdale, Md. The financing will support the development of the 268,762-sq.-ft. new headquarters for the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Weather and Climate Prediction. The notes were placed by Bostonia Global Securities LLC, the broker-dealer arm of Bostonia Group LLC.

Construction on the project stalled in 2009 when the original developer, Opus East LLC, filed for bankruptcy and allowed the mortgage note to go into default and be held in receivership. The project was revived in 2011 when Acquest Development LLC assumed control of the project and cooperated with the receiver to purchase the mortgage note from Bank of America N.A. Final completion of construction is expected in April 2012.

Bostonia structured the deal as a credit tenant lease with two tranches of lease-backed secured notes, which were issued by the developer in order to raise proceeds to purchase the mortgage note and complete construction of the project. The notes were issued in the private placement market to institutional investors and are payable from rental income of the project.

“This is a great example of how important the private placement market is for funding in the current market environment,” Anita P. Molino, managing partner and president of Bostonia Partners, said in a statement. “What was unique about this transaction was the simultaneous closing of the purchase of the first mortgage note with the credit tenant lease financing. We are pleased that our partnership with institutional investors enabled us to finance the revival of this important project.”

The new NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction is located in the University of Maryland’s M-Square research park. The building will house 800 people, including staff from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction; NOAA’s Satellite, Data, and Information Service; and NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory. Nearly all the meteorological data collected globally will arrive to the center for analysis by NOAA's environmental scientists. The building’s design and small footprint ensure sustainable environmental and energy performance. The building is Energy Star certified and is on target to achieve LEED Gold certification.

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