October 3, 2018
George Smith Partners arranged perm financing for the refinance of a 14-unit office building in North Hollywood, California. The Sponsor was operating his business in the largest unit on the ground floor and was looking for maximum cash out while locking in a new fixed rate before the Fed increased rates. GSP worked closely with a lender who would utilize market rent on the owner user portion in order to increase the debt service coverage ratio and maximize loan proceeds. Despite the fact that the Sponsor didn’t have a lease on himself, GSP and the Lender worked hand in hand to ensure that market rent would be factored into the Lender’s underwriting on the Subject Property.
Most lenders would not utilize market rent for the owner used portion and wanted to internally underwrite the loan to 13 units. This would cut loan proceeds by $320,000 because the owner’s unit made up 18% of the Property’s income. Additionally, the appraisal came back with a remaining economic life of 20-years. As a result, the Lender adjusted their amortization to 20-years matching the remaining economic life of the Subject Property.
George Smith Partners worked closely with the Lender to guarantee they used market rent in their underwriting to ensure the cash out proceeds would be met. When the remaining economic life came back at 20-years, GSP provided historical documents and property data to the Lender and the Appraiser illustrating how the remaining economic life of 20-years was incorrect. GSP leveraged their long standing lender relationship and worked carefully with the appraiser to get the amended economic life up to 30-years. , This allowed the Lender to adjust their amortization back to 30-years as well.
Term: 5 Years Fixed, 30 Year Term
Amortization: 30 Years
Recourse: Full Recourse
Prepayment Penalty: 4,3,2,1
Lender Fee: None
- Advisors: Reuven Risch
October 3, 2018
George Smith Partners arranged $25,000,000 of Mezzanine construction financing and supported the sponsor in negotiating the $80,500,000 senior financing for a speculative, mixed-use, office and retail project located on North Scottsdale Boulevard and Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona. This phase of the development includes 250,000 square feet of a 15 story, Class A, high rise office space and 44,000 square feet of lifestyle retail space.
Given the perceived historical volatility of the Phoenix and Tempe office markets, and the speculative nature of the business plan, many potential investors were unwilling to take on the risk. Preleasing was critical to the advancement of the Project and to the capital markets. The Senior Lender mitigated the uncertainty by requiring a minimum leasing threshold to be achieved prior to advancing any loan proceeds. However, the local leasing market would not commit to new leases without a committed delivery date.
The Sponsor, with George Smith Partners’ assistance, was able to develop an alternate structure to the Senior Loan. This allowed the Sponsor to fully engage the equity solution and provide a certain completion date to the Lenders and the tenant market.
September 12, 2018
George Smith Partners successfully placed $8,500,000 in permanent financing for the refinance of a 270,000 square foot Class B office building located in the heart of Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The Building has a unique combination of national and local office tenants, as well as storage and data center space. The Property previously had an expensive floating rate bridge loan and the Borrower engaged GSP to find cheaper long term fixed rate debt. GSP ultimately sourced a 10 year non-recourse loan with a fixed rate of 5.39%. The loan is interest only for 10 years.
Numerous lenders where not interested in the Property because they were not comfortable with the St. Louis office market which has a soft market occupancy. Additionally, while the Building has strong cash flow, it appeared to have a weak occupancy, which caused lenders to view the Property as unstabilized. As a result, many lenders were not comfortable placing long term fixed rate debt on it. Additionally, many of the smaller tenants in the building were on month to month leases, so most lenders would not give credit to that income. Finally, the seemingly volatile historical occupancy of the Property was concerning to lenders.
It became evident a large amount of the building’s “vacant” space was actually unusable space. Due to tenant changes over the years, floor space that was previously leasable had become common area space that is now unleasable. As a result, the Property’s occupancy was significantly higher than what it originally appeared. GSP calculated about 20% of the square footage previously counted in the square footage was actually unusable space/common area space. GSP was able to prove to both lenders and appraisers the building was stabilized, it’s cash flow was strong, and its true occupancy was in line with the local market. GSP also demonstrated it was irrelevant to look at any issues with historical occupancy in the Project. Once the current Sponsorship took control of the building, they immediately improved all aspects of the Property. In addition to investing significant capital to improve the Property, they also immediately increased the occupancy, cash flow, and overall quality of the Property.
Hollywood, CA – $34,900,000 Recourse Interest-Only Loan Fixed for 10 Years on Single Tenant Class A Office Building
July 25, 2018
George Smith Partners arranged a $34,900,000 permanent loan to refinance a 60,834 square foot Class A office building in the heart of the Sunset and Vine office corridor in Hollywood, CA. The Sponsors acquired the property in 2016 with significant deferred maintenance. They completed an extensive facelift and interior renovation to convert it to Class A creative office space. The property is now 100% leased to a single-tenant who will take occupancy in 4Q 2018. GSP’s task was to create a competitive market place in an effort to arrange the lowest-priced and most flexible financing available. The chosen lender loved the opportunity so much, they circumvented the market by offering what many might have perceived as above market terms to capture the business. The loan structure includes 10 years of interest-only, no reserves during the entire loan term, and a fixed rate for 10 years at 4.78%.
$31,380,000 High-Leverage Bridge Loan to Acquire & Renovate 89,000 SF Office Building in South Pasadena, CA
June 6, 2018
George Smith Partners secured $31,380,000 of non-recourse bridge debt to purchase and renovate a multi-tenant Class A office property in South Pasadena. The Sponsor purchased the property with the intent to add significant value through increasing rents and occupancy. The Sponsor purchased the property because of the very strong demographics in South Pasadena and intends to lease to tenants that will pay a premium to be near their clientele. The challenge was convincing the appraiser to use Downtown Pasadena rents since there are no comparable properties in the immediate area. George Smith Partners successfully arranged financing at 85% of cost given the expected increase in value over the next three years.
May 30, 2018
George Smith Partners secured a $4,500,000 cash-out refinance loan for a 43,435 square foot medical/office property in Los Angeles. Within the past year the Borrowers had successfully secured a number of new leases which considerably improved the cash flow. GSP sourced a lender to pay off the in-place loan and provide a partial return of equity. Although the property has several anchor tenants under long term leases, multiple tenants continue to operate under month-to-month leases. GSP demonstrated that these tenants had remained in place for several years and maintain a close relationship with the Sponsors. Because of this relationship, our capital provider included cash flow from month-to-month and short-term tenants in their underwritten cash flow. The loan closed 50 days from application.
May 16, 2018
George Smith Partners secured a $4,500,000 cash-out refinance loan for a 43,435 square foot medical/office property in Los Angeles. Within the past year, the Borrowers had successfully secured a number of new leases, considerably improving cash flow. GSP sourced a lender to pay off the in-place loan and provide a partial return of equity. Although the property has several anchor tenants under long term leases, multiple tenants continue to operate under month-to-month leases. GSP demonstrated that these tenants had remained in place for several years and maintain a close relationship with the Sponsors. Because of this relationship, our capital provider included cash flow from month-to-month and short-term tenants in their underwritten cash flow. The loan closed 50 days from application.
$41,000,000 Bridge Loan – High-Leverage Acquisition Financing for a 71k SF Office Complex in Northern California
April 25, 2018
Challenge: The Sponsor required a highly leveraged structure to assure accretive equity returns. The 71,000 SF office building, while located in one of the best office markets in the country was being acquired as the largest asset in the sponsor’s portfolio from an institutional seller. Additionally, from the time escrow opened the financing was required to close in 60-days or less.
Solution: George Smith Partners successfully closed a bridge financing facility by canvassing the market for the appropriate lender who not only understood the market, but also recognized the strength of the asset within that market. This allowed us to push towards 85% leverage. From the time we started the capital marketing effort, we were in application in approximately 3-weeks and closed within the short escrow period. This assured a smooth acquisition for our client with a very sophisticated seller.
$13,370,000 Cash-Out Permanent Financing For a Two-Tenant Research & Development Office Building in Salt Lake City, Utah
April 11, 2018
George Smith Partners secured $13,370,000 in cash-out permanent refinancing for a Class A 108,958 SF two-tenant office building in Salt Lake City, Utah. The purpose of the cash-out refinance is to pay off a maturing loan. With strong sponsorship and an experienced real estate investor, GSP identified a lender who was able to get comfortable with 75% loan to value. The loan was funded prior to receiving SNDA, and there was no holdback or reserves. Fixed for 10 years at 4.625%, the loan amortizes over 25 years with no prepayment penalty.
April 11, 2018
George Smith Partners successfully arranged non-recourse, floating-rate bridge debt on an 85%+ occupied but under performing portfolio of multi-tenant office properties located in Orange County. The portfolio includes four newly acquired office properties and the retiring of a loan encumbering a fifth office property owned by the client. Proceeds of the loan will be used to reposition all of the properties through the implementation of a strategic renovation and leasing program. In addition, the terms of the loan provide the partnership with the autonomy to execute its value-add strategy as well as the flexibility to distribute operating cash flow along with net sales proceeds resulting from the sale of properties thereby maximizing the portfolio-level returns.
Rate: 3.75% + 1-Month LIBOR
Term: 3 Years + 2, 1-Year Extension Options
Amortization: Interest-Only During Initial Term, 30-Year Amortization Schedule During Extension Period
LTC/LTV: 66% of cost/53% as-stabilized value
Prepayment: 15-month spread maintenance
- Advisors: Alina Mardesich
$16,900,000 Bridge Financing to Acquire & Renovate a 50,000 sf, 7-Story Office Building in Downtown Los Angeles
April 4, 2018
George Smith Partners secured $16,900,000 in bridge financing to acquire and renovate a 7-story office building (first floor retail) in the Jewelry District and historic core of Downtown Los Angeles. The property was originally built in 1913 with open floor plates and is perfectly designed for a conversion to creative office. Even though the project is well-located in the path of DTLA development, some challenges included a lack of both Sponsor experience and credit tenant preleasing. Moreover, being a purchase transaction added additional pressure to close without delays. GSP sourced a Capital Provider to get comfortable with the Sponsor’s team, business plan execution ability, and guarantor of the main leaseholder. While the original financing request estimated a 35% prelease, the Sponsor was able to obtain 60% preleasing by loan funding.
March 21, 2018
Transaction Description: George Smith Partners arranged an 80% acquisition financing for a large office building in Monterey Park, California. The sponsor for this transaction was a religious institution who was acquiring the property to serve as its main campus for community service and fundraising events. The religious institution previously operated its community service and fundraising events out of several smaller locations in Orange County, but needed to consolidate into one larger main campus. Fixed for 10 years at 6.75%, the acquisition loan represented 80% of the property’s value and is recourse to an entity. The loan amortizes over 30 years and has a 5,4,3,2,1 prepayment penalty.
Challenges: Conventional lenders could not get comfortable with the transaction because of the niche religious use of the property. The owner-user element further complicated the deal. Many lenders also struggled because the large office building sat vacant for many years and there was no warm body guarantor. The religious institution also required a highly leveraged loan to complete the purchase of the office building.
Solution: George Smith Partners understood the unique aspects of this transaction and ultimately identified a community development lender who was comfortable with both the religious use and the owner-user component of this deal. GSP also structured the transaction to be recourse to the entity, giving the lender further comfort with the deal. GSP was able to push leverage to 80% of the purchase price.