Term: 10 Years
Amortization: 5 years interest Only
Loan Fee: Par
George Smith Partners placed a $20,000,000 refinance for a 30-year-old specialty storage facility in California. The high security, temperature and humidity-controlled facility is used for specialty uses, and other high value items. The COVID-19 pandemic made the Sponsor’s request more challenging as it consisted of non-recourse financing for a specialty asset. George Smith Partners reached out to several dozen Capital Providers to find a relationship lender that would meet the Sponsor’s needs. The Property has performed well historically and continues to perform very well during the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 20, 2020
George Smith Partners successfully secured a high leverage $21,700,000 non-recourse, Construction-to-Perm loan to develop a six-building, 966-unit, climate controlled, Class-A self-storage facility near Stevenson Ranch in the Santa Clarita Valley, California.
The Sponsor, while very experienced in other asset classes, engaged GSP to source the full capital stack (debt, equity and carve-outs guarantor) for his first self-storage project. New Building & Safety codes that took effect in 2020 resulted in increased costs and delays. In order to obtain certified pads by the end of 2019, the entitlements in-place had to be vetted and the horizontal work needed to start prior to securing construction financing. The impacts of Covid-19 resulted in multiple delays from subcontractors, County inspectors, and in pulling permits due to County offices being closed.
GSP was able to source an investor from its pool of strong relationships who provided the equity. GSP focused on the market necessity for storage units in the desirable and growing community of Santa Clarita Valley, and successfully negotiated an agreement with Public Storage to operate the facility. GSP identified a capital provider to not only extend the financing commitment multiple times, but also to execute a structured, non-recourse, low-rate loan with the same terms agreed upon prior to Covid-19.
April 22, 2020
George Smith Partners secured $5,000,000 of senior financing for a gas station located at a premier Orange County intersection. The loan is fixed at 3.10% for the entirety of the 10-year term. This is one of the lowest fixed rate financings ever placed by GSP even though gas stations are typically priced with an interest rate premium.
The asset class presented a unique challenge when marketing the Project. GSP was able to arrange the loan with a money center bank by highlighting the strong cash flow, extensive experience in management and operations, and irreplaceable site location. The Lender did not require a depository relationship from the Sponsor, even though she was not an existing client.
The Sponsor showed concerns about having a large loan balance towards the end of the loan term, believing that the continuing growth of electric vehicles could diminish the value of gas stations in the future. GSP negotiated to allow the Sponsor to pay down up to 15% of the outstanding loan balance every year. The amortization was also reduced to 20 years to accelerate the principal paydown.
$4,500,000 Non-Recourse Self Storage Adaptive Reuse Construction Financing Fixed at 4.75%; Orlando, FL
March 25, 2020
George Smith Partners placed $4,500,000 in non-recourse construction financing for the adaptive reuse of a big box retail furniture store to convert to a 1,250-unit state of the art self-storage facility. The Property is located in Orlando, Florida, within a Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) and was capitalized with a QOZ equity partner. Deal requirements included a non-recourse bank execution and best possible rate given the low leverage ask resulting from the QOZ equity partner’s significant investment in the Project.
GSP identified a bank lender that understood self-storage construction and found the institutional sponsorship attractive. The Capital Provider was willing to offer a simple, non-recourse execution and a swap product that resulted in a 4.75% fixed rate for the duration of the loan. A four-year initial term was offered to accommodate for the longer lease-up velocity common among self-storage properties.
Rate: 4.75% fixed (Swapped out 1 Month Libor + 315 at closing)
Term: 4 years with a 2-year extension
Amortization: Interest only for the initial term; 25-year amortization thereafter
Prepayment Penalty: None (apart from Swap breakage)
- Advisors: Zachary Streit
$23,500,000 Construction Loan Take-Out of the 30-Acre FBO and Airplane Hangars Adjacent to the Van Nuys Airport
February 12, 2020
George Smith Partners placed a $23,500,000 construction loan take-out for the 30-acre development of the piston driven airplane hangars and FBO (Fixed Base Operations) adjacent to the Van Nuys Airport. Although not yet completed and four or five months from the final certificate of occupancy, our perm lender agreed to fund without the requirement of a hold-back due to the ample cash flow in place at the time of the loan funding.
Van Nuys is the busiest general aviation airport (non-scheduled flights) with over 800 operations daily (take-off or landing). It services LAX as an over-flow for smaller turbine and all piston driven air traffic. This location is vital to the City Department of the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) that administers this airport and owns the land surrounding all sides of the two runways.
At funding, the loan floats at Prime less 1.25% but 75% of the outstanding balance will be SWAPed at a future date; currently at 3.58% for the full 16-year term. The remaining 25% balance will continue to float. Structured as a self-liquidating loan, it will amortize over 15 years after the first year of interest only. The loan is open for future advances during the IO period if requested.
May 29, 2019
George Smith Partners secured a 66% LTV acquisition loan for a vacant theatre space in Los Angeles. The loan provides 66% of the purchase price at a floating rate of Prime + 0.25%. The Sponsor plans to convert the theatre to a production studio/event space.
Several challenges were encountered while discussing the transaction with lenders. Many lenders were not willing to make a loan on a specialty use property. The Property had limited operating history as a theatre so detailed historical financial statements were not available. Furthermore, our Sponsor’s plan is to convert the Property to a new use.
These risks were mitigated when the Sponsor signed a master lease with a well-established, financially strong production company. Although the tenant will not move in for several months post-closing, the selected Lender was able to structure upfront reserves for capital expenditures and interest payments. The Lender waived the debt coverage ratio test for the first year after which the Property will cover at a 1.25x DCR.