November 27, 2012
SunCal closes $24 million loan for Potomac Shores
By Daniel J. Sernovitz, Staff Reporter
Washington Business Journal
SunCal has landed $24 million in construction financing for its Potomac Shores development in Prince William County, where it plans to turn the first of its residential lots over to Reston home builder NVR Inc. later this year.
SunCal closed on the loan from Virginia Commerce Banker earlier this month. VCB Senior Vice President Jamie Nalls said the bank decided to back the 1,920-acre development given the strength of what SunCal hopes to offer.
“SunCal brought us a well-defined, master-planned development in a growing metro D.C. market,” Nalls said.
SunCal Principal Frank Cappello said he is encouraged by how plans for the project are coming together. SunCal launched the $2.5 billion development formerly known as Harbor Station over the summer and reached a deal earlier this year to sell the first 371 residential lots to NVR. NVR plans to develop a range of homes at the site under its NVHomes, NVR Legacy and Ryan Homes brands and could have the first of its model homes opened by mid-2013, Cappello said.
The developer also got a boost from the Federal Railroad Administration, which announced plans in September to set aside nearly $75 million to build a long-planned Virginia Rail Express station at the site.
The project is one of the first active developments for SunCal after the Irvine, Calif.-based firm shifted away from new construction in favor of acquisitions during the recession.
“For us, it’s very exciting. We’re happy to be moving dirt again after not having anything under construction for a few years,” Cappello said.
SunCal acquired the property for $55 million from the successor to Wachovia Bank in August 2011. The property was previously owned by McLean-based Kettler Inc., which got county approvals to develop nearly 4,000 residential units and 3 million square feet of commercial space. Kettler developed a golf course at the site but was unable to follow through with its plans.
SunCal has since revised the plan to feature a town center with 3.7 million square feet of commercial space, a 450-slip marina, 21 sports fields and courts and a five-star resort and spa. Cappello said SunCal is marketing development opportunities to potential builders. He said he has identified a potential resort operator but is not far enough along in those negotiations to disclose the name of the firm.