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Kennedy tides in with $50m funding deal for ranch project.

The American Southwest is booming and the Tucson, Arizona area is no exception due to real estate developer, Stephen Phinny.

His vision of turning 1,035 pristine acres of wilderness into a spectacular 180-unit luxury home community will now continue at an accelerated pace. Kennedy Funding, a direct private lender, announced it has closed a $50 million loan to Phinny's Saguaro Ranch Development Corp. in Tucson, Arizona. The loan will be used for construction of the guest ranch, resort amenities and the opening of phases II and III as phase I approaches a "sold out" status.

Phinny has vast experience in multi-million dollar real estate development projects, and finding the right lender that was willing to close a $50 million loan in a timely, flexible and professional manner was important to him. He acquired the property in 2000 and has already spent $50 million building this dream community in the desert outside Tucson.

"We recognized the tremendous opportunity presented by this project," said Hackensack, New Jersey-based Kennedy Funding president and co-CEO Jeffrey Wolfer. "Tucson is in the heart of the fastest growing region to the country. Job growth is at a 5-year high, and more than double the national average. Real estate values are soaring in Tucson in spite of the so-called "bursting" of the real estate bubble. Each of the 180 lots is on 4 or 5 acres with sale prices starting at $1.25 million." Wolfer continued.

"This is the best residential subdivision we have seen, not just in Arizona or the Southwest, but the entire country. You also have the combination of desert living within close proximity to all the amenities of a great city. Stephen Phinny is a visionary and has a passion that is reflected in this magnificent project. It was easy for Kennedy Funding to accept his Saguaro Ranch sales and cost projections."

"Kennedy Funding was a pleasure to deal with," said Phinny. "They were responsive, professional and extremely flexible." Phinny continued "Their commitment was for $50 million and they more than delivered."

Saguaro Ranch is located in the breathtaking Tortolita Mountains, about 20 miles northwest of downtown Tucson. Of the site's 1,035 acres, 80 percent will remain undisturbed, natural open space, ensuring that the environment is the carefully-preserved focus. Each of the approximately 180 homes will be designed to be in harmony with the traditions and aesthetics of the region (adobe, stucco, rammed earth, masonry) and built to be environmentally respectful to indigenous plant and animal life. In addition to these luxury homesteads, Saguaro Ranch will boast a wealth of world-class amenities and services. These include an intimate guest ranch with casitas, a full-service spa, an indoor theater and an outdoor amphitheater with an adjacent recording studio, fine dining and recreation such as a full-service horse ranch, art barn, three swimming pools, tennis, cycling, bocce and much more. Saguaro Ranch promises to be among the country's most progressive and compelling communities.

Prior to acquiring the Saguaro Ranch property in June 2000, Phinny was a partner in Gray Head, a Telluride, Colorado-based real estate development firm he founded with two other partners in 1996. Stephen is co-owner of Scott Fly Rod Company, which has grown tenfold since he bought the company in 1989 to become one of the largest premium fly rod manufacturers in the world. He is the son of former U.S. Ambassador, Robert H. Phinny and the grandson of Daniel F. Gerber, founder of the legendary Gerber Products Company.

The get-it-done attitude that Kennedy Funding brings to the table for each transaction enables the firm to issue loan commitments in as little as 24 hours, which can lead to a closing in as little as five days or less.

Available financing ranges from $1 million to over $100 million with loans available worldwide.

While Kennedy specializes in all types of commercial real estate loans, their flexibility and diversity have also resulted in loans for a wide range of enterprises including amusement parks, high-profile golf courses, TV and radio stations, airlines and sports complexes. Kennedy Funding has produced funds for conventional and unconventional projects, often lending when other, more traditional financial institutions will not. They can provide up to 75% loan-to-value for commercial land development, acquisitions, workouts, refinancing, bankruptcies and foreclosures.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jan 11, 2006
Previous Article:HRC marks another record year, closing $385m in deals.
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