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New York-Based Investor Swoops In With $83M To Get Wade Park Back On Track

Wade Park

The uncertainty surrounding Wade Park has settled slightly with bridge financing from a New York investor. Atlanta-based developer Thomas Land & Development will receive $83M for the 175-acre mixed-use development that has fallen behind its delivery schedule.

"We needed to fund construction immediately," Thomas Land & Development's Stan Thomas said. The bridge financing will cover the site, retail buildings such as Whole Foods, parking decks and some street infrastructure.

In November, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Thomas was in a legal battle with MetLife over his 3,000-acre Wyoming cattle ranch. Chinese investors offered to buy the ranch, valued at $46M, for $35M cash, but MetLife rejected the deal to attempt foreclosure on the property. Thomas maintained that the LLC connected to the Wyoming ranch, called Fourth Quarter Properties 86, had nothing to do with Wade Park.

Gamma Real Estate president Jonathan Kalikow told Bisnow the six-month bridge financing gives Stan Thomas the “breathing room he needs to finalize a more permanent capital stack and keep the project on track.” Thomas has some no-cost extension options, Kalikow said.

The $2B Wade Park development makes up the easternmost project in the $5B Mile, adjacent to Frisco Station, The Star and The Gate. At build-out, the project will have 1M SF of retail, 6M SF of office, two hotels and 2,800 multifamily units. Thomas Land has inked several retailers, including Whole Foods, iPic Theatre, Anthropologie (pictured) and Pinstripes. The development broke ground in August 2014; opening of Phase 1 was postponed until 2018.

New York-based Gamma has a history in its hometown of offering bridge financing and taking advantage of a borrower’s inability to pay it back. Developer Joe Beninati's 3 Sutton Place, a 262k SF condo project in Manhattan, went into bankruptcy to avoid a Gamma foreclosure, and eventually sold the project at auction. Gamma was the winning bidder in December and bought the project for $86M, plus $12M in air rights.