May 6, 2020
George Smith Partners, on behalf of Stos Partners , arranged $19,775,000 in bridge financing for the acquisition of a specialty flex industrial asset located in Temecula, CA. The Sponsor was able to negotiate a long-term lease renewal for the primary credit tenant, whose term was nearly expired, creating significant value in the process.
The recently purchased industrial building maintains a mix of specialized uses, as well as an additional near-term vacancy for a smaller flex space, posing both an opportunity and a challenge within the markets. The specialized and varied uses of the building, including laboratory rooms, light manufacturing areas and office/distribution space, required costly buildouts with tenant improvement dollars as the primary tenant expanded into additional space, requiring additional structure. Despite strong market fundamentals, the disruption with the COVID-19 pandemic changed the economy overnight. However, the financials and credit profile of this project only grew stronger and more viable with time.
George Smith Partners was able to identify a capital source that understood both the quality of the asset and the ability of the Sponsor to execute on the intended business plan. Amidst a time of great market volatility and economic uncertainty, the Capital Provider held their original pre-COVID structure and terms.
$61,392,000 Refinance of a 207-Acre, Two Million Square Foot Pharmaceutical Campus in Tri-State Area
April 15, 2020
George Smith Partners arranged $61,392,000 in first mortgage debt for the refinance of a mixed-use office, industrial and lab campus in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut). The corporate user developed the campus in phases between 1906 and 2008, and the improvements consist of over two million square feet of laboratory, pharmaceutical manufacturing, office and support buildings including a central utility plant. The user still owns some buildings, and leases others on the campus. The Sponsor purchased the asset in 2015 with a long-term redevelopment goal to create a life sciences destination that will build on the existing laboratory, manufacturing, and office uses. The Property will ultimately feature shopping, dining, meeting and educational experiences as part of a cohesive “work/live/play” community.
GSP sourced a loan from a capital provider that was able to underwrite in-place income with flexibility for an ever-evolving business plan. The three-year, interest only initial loan term is structured as an initial advance of $42,940,000 with the remaining $18,452,000 future funded for approved capital expenditures and tenant improvements/leasing commissions for to-be-leased space. No interest is due on funds until drawn. The loan is open for prepayment at any time subject to a 24-month minimum interest payment.
Term: Three years plus two 12-month extensions
Amortization: Interest Only during Initial Term
Max Loan to Stable Value: 60%
Prepayment: 24 months minimum interest
Lender Fee: 1%
- Advisors: Gary E. Mozer
$2,800,000 Owner User Business Real Estate Loan and Line of Credit for Industrial Property; Los Angeles, CA
November 27, 2019
George Smith Partners placed a structured senior and collateralized line of credit revolver in a cash-out execution for a business in Los Angeles. The first loan was structured to be self-liquidating over 15 years with a fixed rate of 3.90%. The $1,000,000 second trust deed is a true revolver that can be used as a check-book and has no limitations on uses. The second loan is priced at 3.75% (Prime minus 1%). Funds may be drawn down, re-paid and re-drawn without additional bank approval. There is no non-utilization fee. As the credit line is collateralized, there is no mandatory “clean-up” for funds outstanding over 12 months.
$3,300,000 Owner/User Warehouse Acquisition Financing; 75% LTV; Fixed at 3.36% for 10 Years; San Fernando Valley, CA
October 23, 2019
George Smith Partners secured $3,300,000 in proceeds for the purchase of a 19,680 sf warehouse located in the San Fernando Valley. The loan is fixed at 3.36% for 10 years. The Sponsor owns the adjacent property and intends to expand their business into additional warehouse space. Before discussing the deal with lenders, GSP fully underwrote the underlying business and demonstrated its substantial and recurring cash flow. As a result, many lenders were interested in the transaction at 75% LTV, which was above-market leverage for a non-SBA execution. The Borrower was able to select the loan with the best rate and structure. Additionally, the Lender provided an option to pre-pay 20% of the principal balance each year with no penalty.
April 17, 2019
George Smith Partners secured $43,500,000 in bridge financing collateralized by a 95% vacant, 2.2MM square foot industrial building in a secondary Midwestern market. The building was constructed through the 1950s and 1960s by a major retailer and used for many years as a major distribution center. As internet retail ate into the tenant’s business, the building slowly lost its business importance to the prior owner. The Borrower, a well known owner and operator in the area bought the Property off market unoccupied approximately one year ago and has been improving the property and been in leasing talks with an array of strong tenants. The lease that occupies 5% of the building is attributed to a third party logistics subsidiary of the Borrower.
Sized to 80% of stabilized value, proceeds from the bridge loan take out the Borrower’s original acquisition loan and bought out an institutional Preferred Equity investor. The Borrower now owns the property free of all third-party equity investors. Additional loan proceeds will also be used to cover closing costs and fund future work, including CapEx and leasing costs associated with repositioning the 60-year-old building. The financing secured by GSP not only allowed the Borrower to recap out their equity partner and claim exclusive ownership rights to the asset, but also gave them the final renovation dollars required to attract new tenants and eventually bring to Property to stabilization.
Rate: One-Month LIBOR + 5.50%
Term: Two years plus two one-year extension options
Loan to Value: 80% (121% of Purchase Price / New Basis is 140% of Purchase Price)
Amortization: Interest only during the loan term
Lender Fee: 1.00%
Prepayment: 1% for first 12 months; Open thereafter. Waived if lender does take-out.
$15,000,000 Full Cash Out Permanent Financing for a Single-Tenant Industrial Warehouse; Los Angeles, CA
March 6, 2019
George Smith Partners secured $15,000,000 of cash out refinancing of a single-tenant distribution warehouse in West Rancho Dominguez, an unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County. This was a permanent, non-recourse loan at 4.78% fixed for 5 years with 25 years amortization. The flexible prepay, which is non-typical of Life Co’s yield maintenance, was very appealing to the Borrower (locked for 12 months, 3-2-1, then open at par for the last 12 months).
Full cash out with $15,000,000 in proceeds for a foreign borrower who built this property in 2008 for less than $9,000,000. The existing single-tenant is a privately-owned entity that is “non-credit” with its lease rolling in less than 4 years without extensions. The in-place rent is currently 30% below market which limited other loan proposals between $9,000,000 and $11,500,000 in max proceeds.
George Smith Partners worked with an existing life insurance company lender relationship that was able to provide a structured permanent loan solution by underwriting to market rental rate rather than the in-place income. This made the loan metrics work for the Lender (8.6 Debt Yield & 1.26 DCR). These assumptions were in turn verified and confirmed by a national appraisal firm.
The Asset is relatively new construction and considered a class-A property. Furthermore, the Los Angeles County industrial market is supply constrained which makes this asset category one of the most appealing in CRE today.
January 30, 2019
George Smith Partners successfully placed the $1,500,000 refinance of a 22,250 SF single-tenant industrial building in Los Angeles, California. The Property is well located near USC, minutes from the LA garment district and Downtown LA.
The single tenant is a non-credit private label garment manufacturer and the lease is short term expiring in approximately one year. The Property was built in the 1950s, and the contract rent is below market due to functional deficiencies such as clear height and parking spaces as compared to neighboring inventory. Based on the current rent, the Property doesn’t cash flow in the Lender’s credit review.
GSP utilized its extensive market expertise and strong lender relationships to identify a capital provider willing to provide a 10-year fixed loan without TI Holdbacks or a Leasing Commission reserve. The Lender allowed an early rate lock at application, insulating the Borrower from rising interest rates. Priced at 5.15% for the 10-year term, the fixed loan was sized to 54% of value, with a 25-year amortization.
December 12, 2018
George Smith Partners secured $25,500,000 in bridge financing collateralized by a 72% occupied, multi-tenant, 55-acre industrial park in St. Louis, Missouri. Sized to 70% of as-stable value, proceeds from the interest-only bridge loan were used to refinance out two existing permanent loans, cover closing costs and fund 100% of future costs, including CapEx and leasing costs, associated with the final reposition of the 100-year-old industrial park. The borrower had previously upgraded a portion of the Property, including replacing obsolete structures with new tilt-up buildings, however wanted to also take advantage of recent lease expirations within the functionally obsolete suites. The financing secured by GSP will allow the Borrower to modernize and upgrade the structures in an effort to further improve the park and capitalize on St. Louis’s strong industrial market fundamentals, and the Borrower will benefit from the resulting higher rents and additional cash flow after debt service without having to invest additional equity.
The Property’s existing improvements vary with respect to age, functionality and uses, which made it difficult for the borrower to define a specific suite-by-suite future funding budget. In line with the flexibility required by Borrower’s business plan, the Lender allowed the future loan funds to be pooled in lieu of allocating the capital budget on a suite-by-suite basis since the re-tenanting costs will vary based on each future tenants’ specific use. The loan also provides flexibility with interest paid only on drawn funds plus a nominal 1% prepayment penalty during only the first 12 months of loan term allowing payoff at par thereafter.
Rate: One-Month LIBOR + 2.40%
Loan to Cost: 100% of the projected CapEx/TI/LC costs to stabilization with no additional borrower equity required
Loan to Stable Value: 70%
Term: Three years plus two one-year extension options
Amortization: Two years interest only; 25-year amortization thereafter
Lender Fee: 0.625%
Prepayment: 1% of the outstanding loan balance months 1-12; Open thereafter
June 28, 2018
George Smith Partners placed non-recourse financing to take-out an existing construction loan on a 59,375 square foot multi-tenant flex industrial building located in an Austin suburb. In addition to paying off the recourse construction loan, the Sponsor received a notable return of equity. Located adjacent to a residential housing PUD, the commercial real estate is subject to the Homeowners Association’s CC&Rs. Fixed at 5.44% for ten years, prepayment steps-down from 10%. Amortization commences after the first year of interest only and is spread over 30 years.
During due diligence, it was determined the CC&Rs were not securitizable without a material modification precluding the HOA from inhibiting specific tenant uses on the subject property. Our bank ordered MAI appraisal value was below expectations. One tenant representing 12% of the net rentable went into monetary default and vacated the premises but did not turn the space back to management.
GSP identified a portfolio lender who became comfortable with the use subject to receiving an estoppel from the HOA. Although the potential remains for future changes/impediments from the HOA board, the lender obtained a high level of comfort that the current uses were grandfathered in and the HOA would not play an active role in their neighbor’s operations. The Sponsor, Lender and GSP provided additional sale comparables to support a higher value. The lender agreed to raise their LTV constraint by 3 percentage points to maintain proceeds. A tenant Improvement & lease commission reserve was funded at close to be reallocated for releasing the dark space.
April 11, 2018
George Smith Partners secured $4,950,000 of permanent financing for two industrial buildings (one single tenant, one two tenants) located in Castaic, California. The 30-foot clear height buildings are located side-by-side and collectively total 57,825 square feet. One of the properties was constructed in 2011, while the other was built in 2016. The buildings are both 100% occupied but all of the tenants have lease terms that expire within the next four years. GSP was able to identify a capital source that would provide a non-recourse, long-term fixed rate loan. The borrower wanted to maximize cash flow which was achieved by taking minimal ongoing reserves, securing a 30-year amortization, and negotiating four years of interest only. The 10-year loan was priced at 5.17% at 65% LTV and offers a stepdown prepayment structure.
March 28, 2018
George Smith Partners secured financing totaling $7,500,000 on two separate industrial properties in Los Angeles. The properties are occupied by a major domestic furniture manufacturer. The loans provided a return of equity to the borrower. The lender did not require an appraisal, but was able to use market comparables to substantiate the value of the properties. GSP provided extensive market data showing recent transactions of similar properties in order to further support the lender’s value. The lender was ready to close within two weeks of application.
February 1, 2017
George Smith Partners successfully secured $1,325,000 in financing for the purchase of a 9,500 square foot industrial/warehouse building in Los Angeles. The proceeds were structured as $1,125,000 for a first trust deed at a rate of 7.9% and $200,000 for a second trust deed at a rate of 12.99%. The combined proceeds represented 70% of the acquisition price. A number of challenges were encountered in securing financing for the property. First, our Sponsor had to secure financing within 1 week. Second, the subject property was leased to a tenant who was occupying the entire 9,500 square foot property, even though the lease agreement stipulated only 5,000 square foot of space was available to them. While GSP was marketing the deal, legal proceedings were underway to compel the tenant to comply with his lease. Finally, there was lease-up risk since it was unclear when the buyer would be able to lease the remaining space to a new tenant. The selected lenders had an intercreditor agreement and were able to offer a quick close with minimal documentation. The lenders required only a property walkthrough in contrast to a full appraisal. GSP provided rent comps that supported the Sponsor’s business plan for the property, as well as market data that showed vacancy of less than 1% for industrial product in the market. As a result, our lenders were able to underwrite to the in-place income of the property, and were comfortable with the value regardless of the outcome of the pending litigation with the tenant.
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