Mesa West refinances San Diego office building

The deal refinances the CMBS debt assumed by Emmes when it bought the property in November 2012 for $135 million.

Los Angeles-based Mesa West Capital has provided a $130 million first mortgage loan to New York-based Vanbarton Group, an affiliate of Emmes Group of Companies, to refinance 1 Columbia Place, a 556,000 sq ft office property in downtown San Diego, California, PDI sister title REC reported.

The five-year, floating rate, non-recourse loan was provided out of the firm’s Mesa West Core Lending Fund, a source said. The loan takes out the CMBS debt assumed by Emmes when it bought the property in November 2012 for $135 million.

In addition to refinancing the property, a portion of the loan will cover leasing costs and Emmes’ continued $20 million renovation and repositioning of the 27-story property, which has been re-named “Columbia Center”.

Situated at 401 West A Street, the property houses the offices of GSA’s Department of Justice and San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System, among others. The building occupancy is about 80 percent.

“The asset is well positioned to take advantage of the significant recent renovation and strong location in one of Downtown San Diego’s key growth corridors,” Steve Fried, principal at Mesa West who led the origination team, said in the statement.

Mesa West has loaned $600 million in short-term first mortgage debt in the last two months for the acquisition or refinance of hotel, office and multifamily properties in New York, San Diego, Chicago, Palm Beach and Washington, DC.

The lender also launched Mesa West Real Estate Income Fund IV, its forth debt fund with a target size of about $750 million, as reported by PDI in June.

Eastdil Secured arranged the financing.