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Fortress Announces Multi-Party Funding Agreement to Re-Launch Canada's Largest Asian Mall

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/02/14 -- Editors note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

The crane is swinging again and work has recommenced at the site of a major Asian commercial development thanks to the ingenuity of some creative executives.

"I'm very pleased to announce that we are now part of the King Square commercial development. We are going to have a very busy site as we move towards completion and first occupancy in 2015," remarked Jawad Rathore, CEO and President of Fortress Real Developments.

Envisioned by King Square Ltd, the high-end mixed use project boasts over 340,000 square feet of premium shops, restaurants and convention space in the heart of Richmond Hill and Markham's growing Asian population.

"This project is 25% bigger than Pacific Mall and will include high end restaurants and shopping to really service the growing Asian population and give them somewhere remarkable to shop, dine and play," said Oswin Tong, Planning Manager for King Square Ltd. and the founder of the project.

Sales of the shops, stalls and larger retail spaces were brisk when the project launched in 2013 as the development team continued to push forward, pouring more and more capital into the project. A cost consultant report from Altus Group, a prominent real estate consulting firm, showed over $38M of work in place by the time the basement was completed; all this without any construction financing secured.

"We knew that to finish the project we would require traditional bank financing," said Tong. "We turned to a top broker to help us arrange the financing."

Enter the team from OMJ Mortgage Capital and their principal Omid Jalili. A mortgage broker for more than 15 years, Omid knew that the capital stack would require several pieces to execute this complicated funding. His team carefully diagrammed what financing would be needed and started projecting which players would need to be involved. "This is a great deal and it needed a great team to make it happen. I'm very pleased that OMJ has helped facilitate the re-start of this landmark project," said Jalili. "King Square Ltd was prepared to contribute more equity and I knew I'd need another equity player to get us to the finish line. Other syndicate mortgage providers tried to get involved, but I knew that only Fortress had the ability to deliver the capital and could also bring valuable development and financing experience to the table."

Jalili teamed up with Frank Margani, EVP at Fortress Real Developments (also a licensed mortgage agent), and the financing plan started to come together. Using his years of experience and relationships, Margani brought in Firm Capital Corporation, a Toronto based mortgage bank, and Aviva Insurance, a deposit bonder, to provide the balance of the funding.

"When I looked at this deal, I saw a very attractive offering that had tremendous equity already in it and a low loan to value ratio below 50%. The sales in place offer excellent exposure coverage for all lenders from the first mortgage construction lender all the way to the Fortress Real Capital syndicate mortgage investors," said Margani. "Firm Capital Corporation is looking to do more bank grade deals and King Square certainly fits the bill."

With all agreements executed, Varcon has recommenced work on the massive site on Woodbine Avenue just north of 16th Avenue. "We have liked this deal from the start and have already injected $3.5M of our own capital into the site to get it going again," shared Vince Petrozza, Fortress COO and also a licensed mortgage broker. "This is why we're the best in the syndicate space. We have the best combination of skill, capital and experience. It's how we built our reputation and we're very proud of that."

A limited number of units are still available and occupancy of the first level is expected in late 2015.

About the Companies

Fortress Real Developments Inc. - Fortress Real Developments Inc. is a Canadian real estate development company that seeks out and analyzes investment opportunities in major Canadian markets. The company is focused on quality projects with recognizable alpha in residential low-rise, high-rise, commercial and industrial market segments. For more information visit: http://fortressrealdevelopments.com.

Firm Capital Corporation - As a leading non-bank lender, Firm Capital Corporation provides Construction, Equity, and Conventional Real Estate Finance to the builder, developer, and real estate owner marketplace. In 2013 Firm Capital Corporation completed $665 million in financing transactions. For more information, visit: www.firmcapital.com.

King Square Ltd.- King Square Ltd. was formed in 2010 by a group of accomplished professionals with diverse & extensive experience involving all facets of real estate development. For more information visit: http://kingsquare.ca.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20140602-KingSquare.jpg.

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