Buchanan Funds $55M Construction Loan in SoCal

Serrano Development Group is building a 163-unit mixed-use residential and retail development in Azusa, Calif.
The Orchard. Image courtesy of Buchanan Mortgage Holdings

Serrano Development Group is moving forward with development of The Orchard, a 177,000-square-foot mixed-use residential and retail development in Azusa, Calif., with a $55 million construction loan closed by Buchanan Mortgage Holdings. It is the second mixed-use and non-recourse construction loan Serrano has closed with Buchanan.

The transit-oriented development located at the corner of North Azusa Avenue and historic Route 66, will feature 163 market-rate apartments built over 31,700 square feet of ground-floor retail. There will be two Class A multifamily buildings connected by a second-story footbridge along with subterranean parking for the residential units. The apartments will have upscale finishes. On its website, Serrano notes the development will have four above-ground levels of residential and two residential lobby entrances. A four-screen Laemmle Theatre will be among the offerings.

The site is within walking distance of the Azusa Pacific and Citrus Colleges as well as the Downtown Metro Goldline, which is a 45-minute public transit commute to downtown Los Angeles. Located about 20 miles east of Los Angeles, Azusa has had a 6.6 percent population growth in the last five years and is one of the fastest growing cities in the San Gabriel Valley, according to Avison Young. It is also attracting other investors. In November, Cameron Properties sold two multifamily communities, The Riviera and Rainbow Gardens, to Barker Pacific Group for nearly $17 million. The properties, which each have about 36 units, are both located in Azusa.

Second Time Around

Buchanan and Serrano are teaming up for a second time on a mixed-use project in Southern California. In late 2019, Buchanan closed on a $20.8 million construction loan for Newhall Crossings, a mixed-use project with 47 residential units and 20,167 square feet of retail space in Santa Clarita, Calif., developed by Serrano. Buchanan Mortgage Holdings is the proprietary lending business of Buchanan Street Partners, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based real estate investment management firm that invests debt and equity capital on behalf of institutional and private lenders.