"To Northwestern's credit, they didn't waver on this, even in the face of the most difficult capital market I've ever seen," comments Jeffrey J. Cooper, executive managing director of Savills, LLC, the New York City-headquartered company that represented BremnerDuke in its efforts to find a capital partner. He tells GlobeSt.com that, in fact, Northwestern Mutual was ready to go as soon as possible. "The only delay was that the project got larger," he adds. "The hospital decided to add an extra floor and there was some movement around of tenancy and other issues with architectural and engineering due to the change."
Cooper says Savills received a variety of debt and equity proposals during the search period. What also took place during the search period was the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. As a result, Cooper acknowledges, Northwestern Mutual's all-equity offer was extraordinarily attractive.
"We only had to deal with one party, and didn't have to worry about engaging different debt and equity sources. Furthermore, amid the credit chaos, there were definite concerns that lack of liquidity might have put a stop to the project. "It was clear that whoever might be providing debt might not be able to close on it," Cooper explains.
In the meantime, Northwestern Mutual becomes a partner with BremnerDuke, a subsidiary of Duke Realty Corp. in Indianapolis, IN. "Northwestern Mutual gets an investment-grade partner and an investment-grade tenant, and a project on one of the top campuses in the southwest United States," Cooper remarks.
By Amy Wolff Sorter with Globest.com