Utah resort gains first phase financing

A 175-acre development in Moab, Utah, USA, has received US$50 million of financing for phase one of its construction.

The Lionsback Resort is a US$350 million project which will house a luxury destination resort hotel alongside 188 single family ‘casitas’ residences.

Initial construction

The Sonnenblick-Eichner Company-arranged loan will be used to complete onsite infrastructure improvements and vertical construction of 34 initial single family homes, as well as the horizontal infrastructure of the project’s second phase.

The Invent Development Partners-developed site will be the first luxury residential resort in the city of Moab, and will be built over five phases. The Salt Lake City division of HKS Architects has created the design, while Denver, Colorado-headquartered studio River + Lime is crafting the interiors.

Hotel profile

Located adjacent to Canyonlands and Arches National Park in eastern Utah’s desert, the onsite four star hotel will encompass 150 guestrooms.

Amenities will include a full service restaurant and bar, an extensive pool area, a spa, a fitness centre, and a 7,500 sq ft convention centre/wedding venue. 

The resort also intends to allow casitas owners to put their homes into a rental programme through the hotel operator for added convenience.

Special development

Elliot Eichner, a principal of Sonnenblick-Eichner Company, said of the financing: “Given the unique location of the site and the strict barriers to entry, we were successful in procuring a lender that provided a non-recourse loan at 85% of cost.”

Another of the company’s principals, David Sonnenblick, added: “Our client spent 16 years to obtain the entitlements to build this project in one of our country’s most beautiful natural environments. We were fortunate, given the uncertainty in the market, to be able to identify a lender who understood the viability of this special development.”