By: Ismael Rodriguez

Brightline’s developers received a $130 million loan to carry on with the retail portion of the MiamiCentral Station.

The loan was processed through the EB-5 visa investment program, which congress created to stimulate the economy through job creation and capital investments by foreign investors, and granted DTS DT Retail LLC, an affiliate of Florida East Coast Industries that is building the Brightline, a mortgage loan from CanAm Florida Regional Center.

The mortgage document states the loan has $130 million in principal, with an $85 million guaranty with the loan sponsor. The loan, of course, only covers the retail component of MiamiCentral, which connects with the train that will make stops in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando.

MiamiCentral currently has 180,000 square feet of retail space under construction. The largest portion of the space will be a 50,000-square-foot food court dubbed Central Fare, featuring restaurants such as Della Bowls, Parliament Espresso Bar and Monger by the Voltaggio Brothers.

The inner-city train service has also accumulated much support, fanfare and confidence from Floridians and real estate experts. Many of them believe the project not only connects two of the state’s most prominent commerce and tourism locations, but it boosts tourism dollars and real estate development along the 235-mile spread of land.

“This will change the way travel and development and redevelopment occur in South Florida,” Rick Gonzalez, president of REG Architects in West Palm Beach, told the press. “You can now work in downtown Miami and live in Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach.”

Developers in the stretch of land covered by Brightline, which has been under construction for three years, can benefit from consumer traffic around the stations, boosting tourism in and around these areas.

“Brightline will ultimately make these downtown areas much more attractive as a destination for residential, commercial and retail real estate investment and development,” Arden Karson, senior managing director of CBRE South Florida, told the press.

The addition of Brightline will also make trips between the cities less stressful than driving, taking cars off the road and outpacing them in its estimated time between the cities.