August 21, 2019
George Smith Partners secured a $10,200,000 cash-out refinance of a 1920s-mixed-use brick building located in Los Angeles. In a growing movement to gentrify the area, this Property features both ground floor retail, and multifamily living. The cash-out refinance allowed our Sponsor to recapture the investment they made in upgrading and repositioning the Property. It is challenging for lenders to finance historic brick buildings and they have trouble getting their arms around mixed-use properties because of the potential risk they pose. GSP offered comfort to the Capital Provider by showing the significant improvements the Sponsor made to the Property, quantifying how retail will enhance the Property value as well as the benefits of being fully leased.
August 14, 2019
George Smith Partners successfully placed $6,750,000 of non-recourse, ten-year fixed-rate first mortgage debt collateralized by a 3.36-acre parcel partially encumbered by a ground lease and improved with a 43,500 square foot retail box formerly occupied by a grocery store. The improvements are newly demised into two spaces 100% leased to a national crafts retailer and regional clothing store, and the collateral also includes two small pads ground leased to a local coffee shop and ice cream parlor. GSP sourced a lender comfortable with providing a 75% leverage permanent loan despite the absence of tenant sales history. Additionally, the Sponsor executed the ice cream parlor ground lease during financing diligence, and GSP worked with the Lender to increase loan proceeds (subject to a lender holdback until tenant opens for business) commensurate with the income attributable to this new lease even though the tenant had not yet built its premises at the time of loan closing.
August 7, 2019
George Smith Partners arranged a $19,900,000 CMBS acquisition loan for the purchase of the Burbank Collection, a 39,000SF retail condominium located in Burbank, CA. The Burbank Collection houses well-known food concepts such as Yard House, Panera Bread, Pinkberry, and Boiling Crab along with Barney’s Beanery and Steak ‘N Shake. The Class-A ground floor retail space underlies 118 residential condominium units, is situated on a pedestrian promenade and is shadow-anchored by the AMC Burbank 16 movie theater, one of the highest grossing AMC theaters in the country.
GSP’s extensive lender relationships allowed for the marketing of this financing to many different banks and life insurance companies as well as CMBS lenders. The most challenging hurdle at the outset with each lender was to make them comfortable with the condominium structure. Prior to the signing of the lender’s loan application, GSP requested that the Lender’s legal counsel engage in a full review of condominium documents to ensure that the Lender would be comfortable with the intricacies of condominium ownership.
After the loan was in application the 10-Year Treasury and Swap indices dropped approximately 40 bps below the rate floor set in the loan application. GSP’s long-term relationship and track record with the Lender gave GSP the negotiating leverage to convince themto drop the rate floor. This effectively split the benefit of the rate decrease with our Sponsor.
GSP obtained maximum proceeds as the loan was sized to 76.5% of purchase price and 75% of value. The all-in interest rate was priced at 157 bps over 10 Yr Swaps and includes three years of interest-only payments.
July 31, 2019
George Smith Partners arranged $55,000,000 of long-term debt for a grocery-anchored mixed-use center located in Ventura, CA. The 218,000 square foot property is currently 97.5% occupied and is anchored by Ralphs, CVS, and LA Fitness. Proceeds were used to refinance the existing debt which was comprised of both senior and mezzanine debt and gave the Sponsor ample reserves for capital expenditures and future leasing costs. The non-recourse financing was sized to 65% of value and has a fixed rate of 3.87% for the life of the loan. GSP was also able to negotiate interest only for the entirety of the 10-year term.
While a majority of the center is retail, the collateral also includes second-floor office space. There were concerns about the leasability of the office suites and depth of the market in regard to future tenants. A portion of the Property is subject to a ground lease with a utility company. The ground lease expires in 13 years, 2032. It encompasses part of the parking lot which had the potential to affect our parking ratio in the event the Sponsor forfeited the collateral. In addition, our full-term interest only was subject to a 65% loan-to-value stipulation.
Apprehension over the desirability of the office space was mitigated by showing that the average tenancy of the current office users at the center is over 10 years. This helped to convince the Lender that there was little chance of multiple tenants vacating in succession. While the ground lease expires in 2032, GSP highlighted the fact that the ground lessor is a utility company that should be amenable to future extensions. In discussing with zoning experts, the parking ratio without that portion of the center was determined to be sufficient. By leaning on the Sponsor’s long history with the asset and best-in-class property management, GSP was able to support a value that came in under the 65% LTV threshold, which maintained the interest only component of the financing for the full 10-year term.
GSP Increases Financing to $11,200,000 to Cover Renovation Cost Overruns in Five Days; Orange County, CA
July 24, 2019
After securing an initial loan of $9,700,000 for a well-located Orange County, California retail center, George Smith Partners arranged an additional $1,500,000 in construction/renovation mezzanine capital. This brought the total debt capitalization to $11,200,000. The Sponsor has been renovating the center over the last year but went over-budget due to increasing construction costs.
The Sponsor had used a debt-fund loan to renovate the aging shopping center and make it more vibrant. However, due to rising construction costs, the Sponsor went over budget with the property renovations. Most lenders are not comfortable financing a project that already has expensive debt and is also experiencing cost overruns.
GSP ultimately demonstrated the lender’s last dollar basis was very conservative compared to the as-stabilized value of the property following renovations. GSP utilized one of our relationship lenders to provide the emergency capital and was able to close the transaction within just five days. This allowed the Sponsor to complete construction and focus on leasing the center.
July 17, 2019
George Smith Partners secured $41,000,000 in non-recourse debt to refinance an existing senior and mezzanine loan for a regional Southern California shopping center. The Property is 187,000 square foot center; 100% occupied, with anchor tenants Hobby Lobby and Michaels. GSP worked with the lender to assuage B-Piece buyer concerns of the anchor tenant’s termination risk. Loan proceeds repaid the existing senior and mezzanine loans, covered closing costs, and provided a return of equity to the Sponsor. The financing is a 10 year full term interest only loan that maximizes cash flow for the Sponsor. The non-recourse fixed-rate loan priced at 1.57% over the 10-year Treasury that had a floor of 2.40% at application.
$3,900,000 Cash-Out Permanent Financing with Full Term Interest-Only After Exchange; Los Angeles, CA
July 2, 2019
George Smith Partners financed the purchase of a mixed-use retail/office building in Los Angeles, California, last year, using a 1031 exchange. GSP used our vast experience with tax differed exchanges to arrange a cash-out financing with a seven-year fixed rate and is full term interest-only. The cash- out was used to purchase a new property and the Sponsor was able to reinvest their entire exchange in the purchase to differ any taxable gain. The new refinance allowed the Sponsor to pull cash out from the property tax free and use that cash to grow his real estate portfolio. While the cap rate at purchase was very low, the Property’s value will continue to increase due to its location in a great Los Angeles neighborhood. In a traditional loan, the Borrower would be limited on the loan size and cash flow but structuring the full term interest-only loan allowed the Sponsor to achieve positive cashflow and acquire the new asset without issue.
$13,944,000 ($1,180/SF) Non-Recourse Construction Financing for the Redevelopment of a Former Single-Tenant Office Property in Santa Monica, CA
June 12, 2019
George Smith Partners placed $13,944,000 in non-recourse construction debt for the conversion of a former single-tenant office property into an 11,800 square foot, luxury, multi-tenant retail property in a prime submarket of Santa Monica, California. GSP diligently worked to source a lender comfortable with funding a loan at a high basis of $1,180/SF for a “first-mover” redevelopment that was 64% pre-leased (on an economic basis) at record-setting rents to a mix of local and regional food and fitness users. Further complicating the loan request was the need to allocate separate components of the “bad boy” non-recourse carve-outs among two unrelated guarantor entities. Approximately 55% of the loan proceeds were future funded with no interest paid on unfunded loan proceeds until drawn.
Rate: One-Month LIBOR + 4.25% (6.75%) at closing burning down to One-Month LIBOR + 3.75% (6.25%) upon stabilization
Term: Three-year initial term plus two one-year extension options
Amortization: Interest only
Debt Yield: 8.5% stable debt yield
LTV: 70% as-complete value, 60% as-stable value
Prepayment: Open prepayment with 24-month spread maintenance
Lender Fee: 1%
$14,950,000 Non-Recourse Financing for the Acquisition of a 17-Property Single Tenant Dollar General Portfolio
June 5, 2019
GSP successfully placed $14,950,000 of non-recourse, 14-year (with an anticipated repayment date ten years from the initial closing) fixed-rate debt for the acquisition of 17 newly-constructed freestanding retail buildings 100% leased to Dollar General. The individual assets have 15-year lease terms and are located primarily in tertiary Upper Midwest states. GSP executed the financing concurrent with construction completion and sourced a lender able to provide 75% leverage financing at a 4.52% blended fixed coupon with five years of Interest Only payments, despite an absence of sales history and concurrent tenant lease terms expiring one year after loan maturity. The loan structure also provides the Sponsor flexibility to release properties from the loan collateral in the event of sale after year three of the loan term and allows the Sponsor to release up to 30% of the individual assets from the mortgage collateral and substitute like kind properties through year nine of the term.
May 22, 2019
GSP sourced a two year bridge loan on a small 50% occupied shopping center in Los Angeles for a family trust embattled in disputes for control of the asset. The loan was closed in 10 days, to prevent the sponsorship from filing for bankruptcy and provided capital needed to pay off creditors, buyout family members and allow one of the family members to hold the asset long term.
The estate heirs of the estate were involved in a two year lawsuit over control and over the same time period some of the major tenants moved out with occupancy dropping below 50%. The lawsuit created a need for cash and impacted the heirs’ credit. Between the credit and occupancy issues, it was impossible to find conventual financing. In addition, the lack of cashflow lowered the capitalized value of the property and the lawsuits were pushing the sponsorship into Bankruptcy.
The Shaffer team at GSP understood the diverse family dynamics, the overall value of asset and developed the strategy to quickly payoff the current debt and provide cash out to pay all the debts and buyout family members. Using GSPs expertise in equity recapitalizations, we were able to work out the disputes between the partners/family members and arraigned a quick five day bridge refinancing. We demonstrated to the capital provider that the long term value of the asset was only 65% of value even though the loan was 90% of the property’s capitalized value. In the end, the loan provided capital to buyout the family members, settle all legal claims and allow one of the heirs to hold the shopping center long term.
May 15, 2019
George Smith Partners secured a non-recourse cash out refinance loan for a 12,695 SF retail strip center located in Los Angeles. The loan is fixed at a rate of 4.85% for 10 years and is sized to 65% LTV. The majority of the lenders that were surveyed used a 25 year amortization, but the selected lender was able to use a 30 year amortization. This resulted in a lower monthly payment and greater loan proceeds. The property has one vacancy comprising 11% of the space, which resulted in several lenders limiting their proceeds to the in-place loan amount. GSP pointed out that the space has only been vacant for a few months, and provided historical data showing that the center has consistent high occupancy and long-term tenants. As a result, the selected lender was comfortable providing a non-recourse, cash out refinance loan.
Rate: Fixed for 10 years at 4.85%, followed by floating at 6 month LIBOR plus 2.5%
Term: 30 years
Amortization: 30 years
Prepayment Penalty: 3,3,2,2,1,1,1
LTV: 65% maximum
Origination Fees: Par
May 1, 2019
George Smith Partners arranged $8,740,000 of acquisition financing for an owner user retail property in Los Angeles. The Sponsor had been introduced to GSP after they received a loan cancellation from their direct bank. GSP jumped into the loan process right away and worked with the Sponsor, their CDC and the new Lender in order to ensure closing in a timely matter. The selected Lender that GSP brought in was able to give the Sponsor a much more aggressive interest rate than their direct lender had promised in their LOI. This ended up saving the Sponsor 67 bps on the interest rate and over $240,000 in interest during the first 10 years of the loan.
Rate: 4.57% fixed
Term: 10 years
Amortization: 25 years
Loan to Cost: 91.1%
Lender Origination Fee: None
- Advisors: Reuven Risch
- About Us
- Our Team
- GSP Insights
- Contact Us