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$17,600,000 Bridge Financing for a Portfolio in Los Angeles, CA

Rate: 10%
Term: 12 months + 6 month extensions
Amortization: I/O
LTC: 100%
Guaranty: Full Recourse
Prepayment: 6 months minimum interest on DTLA and San Fernando. Open prepay on South LA
Lender Fee: 3 points

Transaction Description:
George Smith Partners secured a $17,600,000 bridge loan for the acquisition and renovation of three separate commercial and retail buildings in the Los Angeles area. The first building is located in DTLA. Proceeds from the financing will be used for the purchase and adaptive reuse of this 43,000 SF mixed-use building. The second and third buildings are located in the San Fernando Valley and South LA, respectively. Proceeds from the financing will be used for major remodels on both buildings. The building in the San Fernando Valley will undergo a full repositioning of a flower shop into a new state-of-the-art, standalone coin-laundromat. The South LA mixed use asset is 75% complete. It is comprised of a two-story commercial building containing a 9,000 sf laundromat on the ground level with two residential units on the second floor. The entire Property was taken down to the studs, and a portion of this financing will cover the remaining cost of completion.

Despite the strength and experience of the Sponsor, we faced four major issues in obtaining financing for our Sponsor. The first challenge was unresolved past title issues. The second challenge we were up against were maturing interim loans. Next, due to the high volume of projects in the City of LA, power connection to one of our sites was delayed. Lastly, the initial financing request was for 85% LTC. After GSP’s full analysis, we discovered that the financing needed to payoff existing liens and provide the working capital needed for a successful execution was closer to 100% LTC.

GSP worked with a private balance sheet lender that provided a tailored bridge loan for the full capital stack. The initial term is for 12 months plus extensions. Because of GSP’s past experiences with this lender, we were confident in their ability to navigate such a complicated structure and their certainty of execution.


Related Financings

  • $11,200,000 Non-Recourse, Cash-Out Bridge Refinance for Two-Story Retail in Koreatown; Los Angeles, CA

    January 27, 2021

    Transaction Description:

    George Smith Partners secured a $11,200,000 non-recourse bridge refinance with cash-out for a two-story retail plaza in the heart of Koreatown in Los Angeles, CA. Located next to a Metro D (Purple) Line subway station along a very busy stretch of Wilshire Boulevard, the Property is anchored by 7-Eleven and Carl’s Jr. and features a fast-casual food hall on the second floor. However, the food hall has been closed due to COVID.

    The Sponsor, a prolific developer and property owner, recently announced plans to replace the plaza with a 17-story, mixed-use apartment tower that includes affordable units and some commercial space. GSP was engaged to source a bridge solution to pay off the existing maturing loan and provide prepayment flexibility once the Project’s entitlements and permits are secured.

    GSP focused on the strength of the Sponsor, the bustling and densely populated Koreatown market, home to several large and small-scale projects currently planned or under construction and the Purple Line Extension project which will provide a dependable, high-speed alternative for travel between downtown Los Angeles, Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills and Westwood. The financing closed within 11 days of the term sheet being signed.

    All Terms Confidential

  • $13,500,000 Non-Recourse Bridge-to-Bridge Loan with a Cannabis User at 6.90%; Echo Park, CA

    June 17, 2020

    Transaction Description:

    George Smith Partners arranged $13,500,000 in quick-close, cash out, bridge-to-bridge financing for a multi-tenant retail center in Echo Park, California. The Sponsor approached GSP with intentions of taking out their existing lender due to an issue with lease approval for a cannabis tenant. In order to purchase an out-parcel on the Property, the cannabis user needed a lease in place so it could obtain a license from the local jurisdiction. If approvals were not granted, the Sponsor would have the ability to break the lease. GSP identified a non-bank lender who was comfortable approving a lease on a space which may never be occupied. The Lender’s flexible prepayment structure allowed the Sponsor to execute their business plan as the cannabis tenant planned to acquire an out-parcel on the Property after receiving approvals from the City. The first trust deed was sized to 60% of value with no hold back requirement for interest reserve or capital expenditures. The non-recourse, interest only loan does not carry any prepayment penalties. The Sponsor plans to take out the loan within 12 months with long-term fixed rate debt.

    Rate: 6.90%
    Term: 12-month term with one 12-month extension option
    LTV: 60%
    Guaranty: Non-recourse

  • $13,155,000 Non-Recourse Cash-Out Refinancing of a Retail Shopping Center; Orange County, CA

    October 23, 2019

    Transaction Description:
    George Smith Partners successfully arranged $13,155,000 in non-recourse bridge financing for a 20,000 sf shopping center in Orange County, CA. The Sponsor has invested over $10,000,000 in renovating the Property and it now it is currently 91% occupied.

    The Subject Shopping Center has undergone significant reposition in tenant makeup and revenue. As of the date of funding the Center was 91% leased, but several of the tenants were in the process of building out their TIs and had not moved into the Property. Banks, insurance companies, CMBS lenders and credit unions requested more seasoning from our Sponsor. Debt funds and hard money lenders did not want to provide enough proceeds. The financing was too early for a perm lender who would want to see the seasoned cash-flow, and too late for most bridge lenders who would want to fund the actual construction and renovation without releasing cash out to the Sponsor.

    The Sponsor had many goals which included the reposition of the center, the sale of the center, and financing that allowed the Sponsor to pull cash out to sustain him during the sale process allowing him to receive back some of the value added to the Property. GSP was able to provide a solution for the Sponsor with a Midwest-based debt fund that allowed cash out for working capital of over $3,000,000 in less than 15 days. With GSP’s help, the Lender understood the ultimate value of the Property, was able to get comfortable with the large cash-out and give the Sponsor what they needed to complete the final stages of their plan and sell the Property.

    Rate: 8.9% fixed
    Term: 2 Years
    Amortization: Interest Only
    LTV: 80% / LTC: 90%
    Prepayment: None – 6 month minimum
    Guaranty: Non-Recourse

  • 10 Day Close on Retail Bridge Recapitalization Loan to prevent Bankruptcy

    May 22, 2019

    Transaction Description:

    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.

    Rate: Interest only 7.9%
    Term: 2 years
    LTV: 65% of Sale Value/90% Capitalized Value
    Amortization: Interest Only
    No Prepay

  • $101,300,000 in Financing for 375,000 SF, 37-Acre Shopping Center in La Habra, CA

    March 27, 2019

    Transaction Description:

    George Smith Partners secured $101,300,000 in non-recourse bridge debt to refinance out an existing senior loan and mezzanine loan for a regional Southern California shopping center. The Property is a 373,000 square foot open-air, dual grocery anchored shopping center currently midway through a center-wide reposition. The Property is 96% leased but requires additional funds to complete the stabilization, including the construction of a new pre-leased pad building. The Center required a major leasing and re-leasing effort to modernize the 37 acre site into a true lifestyle center. Loan proceeds repaid the existing financing, covered closing costs, and will fund 100% of future CapEx, tenant improvement, and leasing commission costs associated with stabilizing the Property. The loan offers a 24-month initial term plus three extension options with durations of one year each, which provide the Borrower maximum flexibility. The non-recourse floating-rate loan priced at 3.20% over One-Month LIBOR and offered full term interest only payments.


    Rate: One-Month LIBOR + 3.20%
    Term: Two years plus three, one-year extension options
    Amortization: Full-term interest only
    Loan to Initial Value: 75%
    Loan to Stable Value: 70%
    Guaranty: Non-recourse
    Lender Fee: 0.75%
    Prepayment: 15-month spread maintenance

  • $8,700,000 Acquisition Bridge Loan for Renovation of Strip Retail Center and New Pad Construction

    December 5, 2018

    Transaction Description:
    George Smith Partners secured $8,700,000 of non-recourse, bridge acquisition financing for a 45,000 square foot retail center located in Richardson, TX. The Center, which was built in 1985, has a diverse mix of regional tenants and sits on the corner of two of the main thoroughfares in the area.

    The Sponsor purchased the Property with the intent to add value through two approaches: (1) increasing rents for tenants that are rolling and paying below-market rates, and (2) constructing an additional 12,000 square feet on undeveloped land within the parcel. There were complications with parcelizing the existing building and the land, which meant that a single lender needed to fund the entire project. The large renovation and construction budget also resulted in only 41% of the total loan being funded at closing.

    George Smith Partners identified a lender that could structure the financing to have two holdback reserves, one for the CapEx and TI/LC’s for the existing space and the other dedicated to funding the construction of the new building. The separate reserves allow the Sponsor to pursue both value-add opportunities simultaneously, which drastically reduces the project timeline and maximizes the Sponsor’s IRR. Our capital source was able to get comfortable with the construction component by requiring 75% of the space to be pre-leased prior to funding.

    Rate: 1-Month LIBOR + 410
    Term: 36 Months + Two, 12-Month Extensions
    Amortization: Interest Only
    Loan to Cost: 76% LTC
    Lender Fee: 1.0% Origination Fee
    Prepayment: 12 Months of Yield Maintenance
    Guarantee: Non-Recourse