JANuary 03, 2010

Streetscape Partners Creates New Financing Strategy to Develop Landmark ASHA Property

Streetscape Partners, a new DC Metro real estate investment and development firm focused on residential opportunities, recently came to an agreement with the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) to finance the purchase and development of their signature North Bethesda property.

Located along Rockville Pike just south of Strathmore Avenue, the 18-acre site of the former ASHA headquarters property has an approved siteplan that includes the development of 112 townhouse lots, including 17 moderately priced dwelling units and 10 acres of parkland for Montgomery County residents. The transaction is a combination of equity and debt to fund the $60-$70 million construction project which will break ground in 2010.

Streetscape Partners is aggressively breaking into the DC market being positioned as the local operating partner for Lubert-Adler Partners, LP, one of the nation's largest real estate investment firms headquartered in Philadelphia. Lubert-Adler currently has $100 million in capital committed to Streetscape for investment in the surrounding DC Metropolitan region.

"In this economic climate, Streetscape Partners' funding of a residential land deal in the DC area is clear signal that the market for opportunistic projects is starting to move," said Ron Kaplan, Co-Managing Principal of Streetscape.  "By combining a  creative approach to financing, our depth of residential experience, and a strong alliance with Lubert-Alder, we were able to design a unique financing strategy that generates the highest possible land value for ASHA." Adjacent to the Music Center at Strathmore and steps away from the Metro, this property has not escaped developers' eyes. Centex Development was poised to buy the land several years ago. After taking ASHA through the entitlement process, the market collapsed and Centex had to forfeit their deposit.  Several purchasers have since tried to close on the property but were unsuccessful.

"We believe we were able to successfully close the deal by structuring a different kind of transaction," said Harris Schwalb, co-Managing Principal of Streetscape Partners. "Rather than an outright purchase, we are giving ASHA the opportunity to benefit from future sales. If we succeed, they succeed. It's an approach to doing business that responds to the current economic realities and maximizes the proceeds to ASHA."