Refinancing secured for Platinum Tower amid slowing lending market

Atlanta Business Chronicle
June 23, 2023
By Savannah Sicurella

After a close brush with maturity default, the owners of Platinum Tower in Cobb County have secured new debt — even as lenders pull back from the office sector.

Around $24 million of new financing was arranged for the building late last month, according to Cobb County property deeds. JP Morgan Chase & Co. provided the commercial mortgage-backed securities loan (CMBS), the same lender that provided the original mortgage on the building when Accesso Partners acquired it in 2014.

The new loan has a five-year term and will mature in 2028, according to the property deeds.

The terms of the new loan provides Accesso capital to further invest in the property and “unlock added value for clients of both properties,” according to a press release Accesso emailed to Atlanta Business Chronicle when asked for comment. When asked for further clarification, Accesso said in a statement that this process will involve improving the “aesthetics, amenities and appeal of the asset and bringing in new tenants.”

Accesso secured new debt during a stagnant period for commercial real estate lending activity throughout the U.S.

Over the past 18 months, the U.S. Federal Reserve has increased the benchmark interest rate by more than six times, which has made commercial real estate loans costlier to secure for borrowers. Banks like Fifth Third Bancorp and other private debt partners have pulled back from commercial real estate lending, too, particularly within the office sector, which is still struggling to rebound after the pandemic. Nationwide, office vacancies are the highest they’ve been in 30 years, according to research from real estate services firm CBRE. In the first quarter of this year, Atlanta had the ninth-highest office vacancy rate in the U.S.

According to a report from financial analytics firm S&P Global Inc., these factors are heightening refinancing risks for many borrowers, and the strains “won’t likely ease any time soon.”

In February, Accesso’s $32.7 million loan on Platinum Tower matured. Around $27.7 million remained on the balance, according to loan documents reviewed by Atlanta Business Chronicle. One month prior, the loan’s special servicer raised concerns over an “imminent default,” adding that a “workout strategy” was under review, according to the documents.

Built in 1986, Platinum Tower is adjacent to the Bob Callan Trail and Chattahoochee River. The building is currently 77.9% leased. Its largest tenant is Aveanna Healthcare, according to CoStar Group.

Brian Linnihan, Mike Ryan, and JP Cordeiro with CBRE Capital Markets’ Debt & Structured Finance team represented Accesso Partners.