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George Smith Partners successfully placed $10,000,000 of joint venture equity for the construction of a 134-unit workforce housing development in a tertiary Mountain State market. There is considerable demand due to the quality of life and a D1-university in close proximity. GSP structured a 90/10 co-invest with an out of state developer with a robust pipeline.
Though guided to an expeditious close, the equity raise faced a few challenges. GSP brought the deal to market early in COVID when the economic ramifications of stay-at-home policies were uncertain. Additionally, the Project’s location in a tertiary market with only 50,000 people led to multiple groups being hesitant to deploy capital. However, the effects from COVID and the state’s pro-business economic policies eventually were shown to be a positive factor in multifamily demand.
Gary E. Mozer
Senior Vice President
March 31, 2021
George Smith Partners successfully advised on $7,100,000 in joint venture equity financing for a 109-unit build-to-rent and Opportunity Zone transaction in Phoenix, AZ. This single family for rent community will offer one, two and three-bedroom detached homes with upscale furnishings and private yards for most units. This was the first transaction for our Sponsor who is optimistic about the popularity and emerging trend of the build-to-rent niche.
$51,750,000 Senior Construction Financing & $16,200,000 Mezzanine Debt Placement for the Development of a Grocery Anchored Shopping Center; Kona, Hawaii
January 15, 2020
George Smith Partners advised on the placement of $51,750,000 and $16,200,000 Senior Debt and Mezzanine debt respectively for the ground-up development of an institutional quality 204,275 SF outdoor shopping center that will be located along Kuakini Highway, one of the island’s most trafficked thoroughfares. The Property, which sits on a rare fee-simple 20-acre site, will provide patrons with easy access to both Henry Street and Palani Road and over 700 parking spaces (representing a parking ratio of 4:1,000 SF).
Although the Sponsors who partnered with a major life company, had extensive prior career experience in the field of commercial real estate development, the Project represented the Sponsor’s largest development to date. The development of the Project had already commenced adding another layer of complexity to the transaction.
GSP focused on the lack of new retail development on Kona and specifically the anchor tenant’s commitment to relocate their store from an adjacent shopping center (less than 0.50 miles). In addition, GSP was able to convey to capital sources the immense value of the fee simple ownership of the site – a rare occurrence in Hawaii where most land is leased from the State. Ultimately GSP was able to identify two lenders who not only understood the value of the fee simple ownership of the site but also understood the lack of new retail space and the subsequent demand.
June 19, 2013
6 – 12 – 13 Transaction Description: George Smith Partners placed the $52,285,850 Senior Construction & Mezzanine Development Financing w/Performance Bonds for Phase I of a 310 acre master development project in Upper Marlboro, Prince George County, Maryland. Upon completion, the build out will encompass 533,000 sf of retail, 845 “for sale” SFRs & town homes, 2,240,000 sf.of office, 600 key hotels (multiple flags) and 884 multifamily rental units. The financing provided was for Phase I of the development, which consists of the entire infrastructure to deliver 500,000 sf of retail, 348 town homes, 504 rental units and a 150-key hotel. The raw land was initially purchased in February 2012 for $23,700,000. Challenge: The foreign based international development company has been extremely active in acquiring land in the United States during the past 5 years from their Canadian HQ. Collectively, they have acquired over 50,000+ acres in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, DC Region and Southern California. While they have been active in developing their land holdings in Canada since 1979, this was their first large financing request in the U.S. (The company owns all of their land un-levered). To add further complexity, the ownership structure in this asset included a Canadian Public Company and a German entity, which owned the asset as a TIC Structure. This precluded the sponsor from using a pledge of membership interest for the mezzanine financing. Sponsorship also had an important deadline to start the development. Negotiating the inter-creditor was paramount in a successful closing of the capital stack between the senior & mezzanine lenders. Prince George County has some of the most difficult performance bonding requirements in the country. Solution: GSP immediately embarked on a strategic and national in scope process of marketing that included face-to-face meetings in Boston, New York, Maryland, Virginia, DC, Texas, Arizona & California. The project included many moving parts involving articulating the strengths in multiple disciplines; valuation in retail, single family, hospitality, multifamily rentals, office & residual tract land. Combining this articulation and blanketing the country, GSP was able to secure senior debt from a Texas based bank that understood land development and was excited about the prospects for future development opportunities with this sponsor. GSP then structured the mezzanine loan from a New York based hedge fund making its first investment in commercial real estate. By focusing on market education in structuring and collateral, we were able to successfully complete a complicated inter-creditor agreement and funding by the mezzanine loan. Securing the mezzanine loan as a 2nd trust deed, we were able to provide the mezzanine lender it’s security, rather than by the standard pledge of membership interest. By adding a portion of the bonding capacity from the lender, the Sponsor was able to reduce the overall costs to secure the performance bonds for the project. The Grand Opening of the project is Thursday, June 13th.