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Costa Mesa refinance

Meridian Capital Group LLC Managing Director Seth K. Grossman and Associate Andy Strauss, both based in the company's Carlsbad office, negotiated a $7.7 million loan to refinance the Bristol Village Plaza retail center in Costa Mesa on behalf of The Festival Companies.

The 10-year CMBS loan features a fixed-rate of 4.74 percent and full-term interest-only payments.

Notable tenants in the 125,000-square-foot center include McDonalds and Del Taco. Starbucks also recently signed a lease and is in the process of building out its store and obtaining final approvals from the city.

Meridian is a national commercial real estate finance and advisory firm headquartered in New York with offices in New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Arizona and California.
Brooklyn Bridge façade

(AP) -- The New York City Department of Transportation says the collapse of a façade inside an underpass of the Brooklyn Bridge did not cause any structural damage.

Authorities say the façade collapse happened just before 8 p.m. Wednesday on the Brooklyn side of the bridge during a passing thunder shower. Five people suffered minor injuries.

A fire department spokesman says the collapse involved a roughly 25-foot wide section of façade.
Solar acquisition

(AP) -- SunEdison Inc. said Thursday that it bought a 50 percent stake in solar energy plant operator Silver Ridge Power for about $178.6 million in cash.

It bought the stake from Arlington, Va.-based power company The AES Corp.

The deal gives SunEdison, which makes, installs and maintains solar panels, joint ownership of Silver Ridge Power's plants. In all, SunEdison will have interest in 336 megawatts of solar power.

St. Peters, Mo.-based SunEdison will also provide operations, management and other services for Silver Ridge Power's projects.

The other half of Silver Ridge Power is owned by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings.
Mob mortgage company

(AP) -- The son of a former Philadelphia mob boss and another reputed mob associate were convicted Thursday of federal fraud charges for taking over a Texas-based mortgage company and then plundering its assets to buy homes, luxury cars and even a yacht.

Nicodemo S. Scarfo, the son of former Philadelphia Mafia leader Nicodemo D. Scarfo, was convicted of multiple counts including racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud.

A second lead defendant, Salvatore Pellulo, who prosecutors said ran the business takeover, was convicted of similar charges, including racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

The government said Scarfo and his co-defendants used threats of harm to take over the board of publicly held FirstPlus Financial Group, an Irving, Texas-based mortgage company, and then had the company buy shell companies they owned so they could take out the assets. The company is now defunct.

Prosecutors said the conspirators plundered $12 million in less than a year, buying homes, weapons, ammunition, a plane, luxury cars, jewelry and an $850,000 yacht they named “Priceless.” They also alleged some of the money was used to pay organized crime debt.

The government said the men conspired in 2007 to get the money from FirstPlus two ways -- first by hiring shell companies owned by Pelullo and Scarfo as consultants, then by buying other shell companies they formed.

John and William Maxwell, brothers who were executives at FirstPlus, were found guilty Thursday of wire fraud.

Scarfo's former lawyer, Donald Manno, and two lawyers for FirstPlus, David Adler and Gary McCarthy, were also charged in the fraud case. They were acquitted of all counts.

The elder Scarfo, who was also known as “Little Nicky,” led the Philadelphia Mafia until 1988 when he was convicted of racketeering and sent to prison.

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