$11,200,000 Ground-Up Construction Financing for a High-End, 5-Unit, Mixed-Use Condominium Project; 75% Loan to Cost; North Laguna Beach, CA
December 4, 2019
George Smith Partners secured an $11,200,000 ground-up construction loan for the development of a high-end, 5-unit, mixed-use condominium project in North Laguna Beach, California. The Sponsor purchased the Property over two years ago and successfully entitled it. The completed project will feature two residential units with expansive ocean views over three ground-floor commercial units and includes 30 subterranean parking spots, critical in parking constrained North Laguna Beach. The Sponsor sought maximum leverage, including land lift, and a lender comfortable with both the project’s high basis per unit ($2,240,000) and the Property’s environmental history. Certainty of execution in a short timeframe was also paramount as the Sponsor’s building permits faced a near term expiration.
After an extensive marketing effort, GSP sourced a construction lender comfortable providing 75% loan to cost financing and valuing the land at market, which considerably exceeded the Sponsor’s cost basis. Significant time was spent gathering sales comps supporting the Project’s profitability despite the units’ high cost basis, and a soil removal plan was put in place to mitigate the site’s environmental history. The financing successfully closed prior to the expiration of the Sponsor’s building permit, allowing for an immediate ground-breaking.
$12,000,000 in Joint Venture Equity and $23,900,000 in Non-Recourse Construction Financing for a 185 –Single Family Build-To-Rent Community; Western U.S. Secondary Market
November 27, 2019
George Smith Partners successfully advised on $12,000,000 in joint venture equity financing and $23,900,000 in non-recourse senior construction financing for the ground-up development of a 185- home build-to-rent community. Single-family-for-rent communities are a newer asset class and this project was among the first in the market. These communities offer the experience of living in a single-family home with the ease and cost of living in an apartment building. The Sponsor expects the project to be well received as there are distinct competitive advantages over the existing apartment product in the market place for several reasons including the new construction, low density and both interior and exterior privacy.
$34,000,000 Non-Recourse, Permanent, Take-Out Financing without Certificate of Occupancy; Santa Monica, CA
November 13, 2019
George Smith Partners successfully secured $34,000,000 in non-recourse, construction take-out, permanent financing at 3.65% fixed for 10 years for a newly built three-story, mixed-use, 30-unit, high-end building in Santa Monica, CA.
The Sponsor’s existing construction loan was set to mature, and the Property had not yet received a temporary certificate of occupancy. In addition, the borrowing entity was headquartered in a foreign country with extensive development experience abroad, but this was their first project in the U.S. Furthermore, only one of the three retail spaces had been leased and pre-leasing activity on the apartment units had not yet commenced.
GSP focused on the superior location, high-quality residential units and strength of the sole retail tenant, Trader Joe’s, to ensure maximum interest among financing sources. Ultimately, GSP leveraged its expertise and strong relationship with a Life Insurance Company to execute a structured, non-recourse, low-rate, permanent loan – prior to Certificate of Occupancy issuance. This early financing also saved the Sponsor from having to secure a bridge loan. Furthermore, GSP also negotiated a top-off to the loan based on the Property achieving certain milestones, thus enabling the Sponsor to access additional capital in the future.
October 30, 2019
George Smith Partners successfully arranged $25,000,000 in construction financing for a condominium project in an affluent area in Los Angeles County. The Project commenced construction in 2017, however due to construction delays and cost overruns, the Sponsor needed additional money to complete the Project. The existing Lender did not want to upsize their loan. GSP was able to identify two distinct lenders to structure a 1st and 2nd Trust Deed to complete and sell-out the building. The total loan was sized to 75% of the net sell-out value of the Property. The Sponsor has owned the Property for over 10 years so the majority of equity was imputed land equity allowing for loan proceeds of 100% of hard costs.
October 8, 2019
George Smith Partners arranged $16,300,000 in non-recourse construction financing for the ground-up development of a 115-key select-service, extended-stay hotel in West Sacramento, California. The Project is located across the bridge from Downtown Sacramento on a main thoroughfare and within direct proximity to the newly built West Sacramento City Hall. The Project is well positioned as an economic alternative to travelers and a convenient option for long-term local guests. The financing allows the Sponsor to break ground on their third hotel under development in the greater Sacramento metropolitan area.
GSP identified a capital provider who was intent on securing a long-term relationship with the Sponsor, recognizing their extensive hospitality experience and ability to execute both on the construction and on the overall business plan with a high-degree of surety. Forming this relationship earned them a highly leveraged deal, sized to north of 80% of total project costs. The interest only, non-recourse construction loan is priced at a spread of 1 Month LIBOR plus 750 basis points, with a three-year term and two 12-month extension options. GSP highlighted the submarket’s various economic drivers, demonstrating its appeal as a pioneering and cost-effective market with tremendous growth potential.
$14,000,000 in JV Opportunity Zone Equity Financing and $23,000,000 in Non-Recourse Construction Financing for the Development of a 127 Unit Multifamily Property; Vancouver, WA
September 25, 2019
George Smith Partners advised on $14,000,000 in Joint Venture QOZ (Qualified Opportunity Zone) Equity Financing and $23,000,000 in non-recourse senior construction financing for the ground-up development of a 127 unit multifamily property in Vancouver, Washington, a suburb of Portland, Oregon. The Property sits across the street from the Vancouver Waterfront, which is undergoing a $1.5B dollar public/private master plan redevelopment. The 6-story, 173,000 square foot property will feature a landscaped third floor courtyard, a community room, balconies, two levels of parking, bike storage and excellent views of the Columbia River and Mount Hood.
Due to of the Project’s location in a QOZ, the Sponsor sought a QOZ financing partner who had the ability to place capital for the required 10-year horizon as per the QOZ guidelines. Moreover, many capital sources also expressed reservations related to supply concerns in the greater Portland market.
GSP focused on the Vancouver submarket’s strengths, including very limited new supply in contrast to downtown Portland, no state income tax, the more relaxed lifestyle, the proximity to PDX airport, and the Project’s location in very close proximity to the waterfront. Additionally, GSP highlighted the Sponsor’s ability to execute by showcasing its recent Class A multifamily delivery in Vancouver that fielded a large number of offers and traded at a record low cap rate. Ultimately, an opportunity zone JV Equity financing partner was selected who recognized the strength of the location and Sponsor’s best-in-class development history. These attributes also resulted in GSP securing non-recourse construction financing at 60% loan to cost with an interest rate of 1 Month Libor + 3.65%.
$11,760,000 Construction Financing to Develop a 14 Unit Small Lot Subdivision Project in the Silver Lake Submarket; Los Angeles, CA
September 11, 2019
George Smith Partners placed $11,760,000 in ground up construction financing to develop a 14 unit small lot subdivision project in the trendy Silver Lake submarket of Los Angeles, CA. The Project is extremely well located within Silver Lake and is walking distance to Sunset Junction. The per unit exit price is projected to represent a 30%+ discount to the cost of single family residences with similar footprints, offering an affordable alternative in an attractive and supply constrained market. Challenges included a sponsor seeking full leverage but requiring an extremely low interest rate, and many lenders refusing to offer competitive bids (or any bids at all) given the Project’s for-sale exit to homeowners.
GSP secured a capital provider that was comfortable with the Property’s central, urban location and the favorable per unit cost basis relative to both single family homes and the limited number of local competing condominium projects. The loan represents 72.5% of total cost and carries an interest rate of One Month Libor + 2.75%, which is near institutional level pricing for a middle market sponsor. The loan term is 24 months with two six month extensions. It allows for partial release of individual units without a prepayment penalty or exit fee, allowing the Sponsor to sell units at its discretion.
Rate: Floating at 1 Month LIBOR + 2.75%
Term: 2 Years with Two (6) Month Extensions
Amortization: Interest Only
Prepayment Penalty: None
$25,500,000 Bridge Loan for VACANT Newly Constructed 65 Unit Multifamily Property; 100% LTC; Fixed at 4.95%; Los Angeles, CA
September 11, 2019
George Smith Partners secured $25,500,000 in proceeds for the refinance of a construction loan on a newly constructed 65-unit multifamily property located in Los Angeles. The loan represents 100% of project capitalization and is fixed at 4.95%. The Property had recently received Certificate of Occupancy, but was still completely vacant at close. The bridge loan is intended to give the Sponsor time to lease up the property to stabilization. The fixed rate is unusual for a bridge loan; most capital providers offered floating rate financing and required the purchase of a cap.
Because the Property was still vacant, the Sponsor’s proforma rents were not yet proven out by signed leases. This was a challenge because the rents are several hundred dollars higher than those of typical multifamily properties in the submarket. GSP was able to overcome this challenge by pointing out that the brand new units at the Subject Property were considerably larger than those in the comp set. This provided support for the premium rents. Another hurdle was the 90% loan-to-cost constraint imposed by most capital providers. The selected lender allowed for 100% of cost, subject to a 7.0% debt yield on the stabilized cash flow.
Rate: Fixed at 4.95%
Term: 12 months with one 6 month extension option
Amortization: Interest Only
Prepayment Penalty: None (no required minimum interest)
Stabilized DY: 7.0%
Fees: 1% in/0% out
Guaranty: Non-Recourse: None (no required minimum interest)
September 3, 2019
George Smith Partners secured $11,450,000 of life-company debt to refinance an existing senior loan for a regional private airport facility in Southern California. The Property is a 133,490 square foot, 10 building, 56 hangar private airport facility on a ground lease to the City of Torrance. The remaining term of the ground lease is only 23 years, which created limitations for the amortization of the senior loan. GSP worked with a lender that allowed for an amortization that equaled 80% of the remaining years of the ground lease. Loan proceeds repaid the existing senior loan, covered closing costs, and provided a return of equity to the Sponsor. The financing is an 18 year term loan that maximizes cash flow for the Sponsor. The recourse fixed-rate loan is priced at 4.75%.
September 3, 2019
George Smith Partners secured $42,700,000 in non-recourse construction financing for the development of a ten-building residential community in the Clackamas County submarket of Portland, OR. The nearly 13-acre site, which is a 20-minute drive from the city, offers an affordable alternative to Portland’s ever-increasing rental rates, as well as an exemption for inclusionary zoning, requiring no affordable units.
By leveraging the strength of the Sponsor’s local experience, coupled with the city’s need for housing alternatives to the urban infill product, GSP was able to find a non-recourse lender who was comfortable with the fact that the area had seen little development in recent years and offered no comparable product. The loan was priced at 30-Day LIBOR + 3.55% and was sized to 65% LTC, which is aggressive leverage considering the pricing and the non-recourse structure. As costs rose approaching the final budget, the Lender ratably increased the proceeds of their loan to minimize additional Sponsor dollars in, which ultimately showed a commitment to a long-term relationship; this was their second time working together, the first being another Portland development GSP sourced in 2017.
$6,500,000 7-Year Construction Loan 18-Unit Multifamily Project; 70% LTC; Prime + 0.75%; Culver City, CA
August 28, 2019
George Smith Partners secured a $6,500,000 construction loan for the development of an 18-Unit Class A apartment building located in the greater Culver City submarket of Los Angeles. The interest only loan is priced at Prime + 0.75% for the full 18-month term and includes a 6-month extension option. The proceeds represent 70% of the total project cost. The transaction also includes a 5-year mini perm option priced at the 5 Yr. Treasury + 2.15% with a 30-year amortization schedule, which can be exercised upon stabilization of the Project.
Although the Sponsor had previous experience as a general contractor this was his first endeavor as a developer and guarantor. His experience with this Class A asset type was limited and a significant portion of his net worth was tied to a startup technology company with limited operating history. The Sponsor also had a strict deadline he needed to adhere to as his construction permits were reaching their expiration date. Additionally, the construction costs and Sponsor cash equity fluctuated throughout the application process, which complicated the reconciliation of the closing statement and final loan amount.
GSP demonstrated that the Sponsor had chosen a capable general contractor to oversee the Project and helped structure a contract that gave the Lender confidence that the development would be completed. With respect to net worth, GSP procured ample evidence supporting the financial growth and stability of the startup. GSP prepared all required closing documents in a timely manner and provided a material portion of the due diligence prior to entering application in order to execute the transaction before the expiration of the Sponsor’s permits. GSP kept a diligent record of costs and equity invested to date. The Lender gave credit for this prior equity and reduced the Sponsor’s required down payment at close.
$3,700,000 Bridge Financing for a Recently Completed Mixed-Use Development Office & Retail; Temecula, CA
August 14, 2019
George Smith Partners secured a $3,700,000 bridge loan to refinance an existing construction loan for a recently completed mixed-use development in Temecula, CA. The Property is a 14,939 square foot, 3-story office and retail commercial building located in the Old Town Temecula District. The spec development included the use of EB-5 equity in a tertiary market and required a lender who understood the Property’s unique location and ownership characteristics.
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