Term: 24 Months, One 6 Month Extension
George Smith Partners arranged $3,500,000 in land pre-development financing for Phase II of a multifamily development project. The vacant lot will be developed into 92 workforce housing units located in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, CA. The Sponsor is addressing the need for workforce housing in this area. GSP utilized a unique capital source to arrange highly favorable and flexible capital to allow the Sponsor’s long-term plan of developing workforce housing communities within Los Angeles. The loan represents 75% of the pre-development soft costs to bring the Project to permit-ready status. This is the second phase of the land development. The interest-only land loan was priced at 5.50%, with a 24-month term and one 6-month extension option. The extension option gives flexibility to the Sponsor should they be unable to pull permits within 24 months. There is additional flexibility with the loan structure with no prepayment penalty. Despite being on a strict closing deadline, GSP was able to identify a lender who could execute on terms and close within 30 days.
Assistant Vice President
High Leverage Acquisition Land Financing of $5,880,000 for Build By-Right Land, to-be 82 Multifamily Units, 75% LTV; Koreatown area of Los Angeles, CA
May 12, 2021
George Smith Partners arranged $5,880,000 in acquisition land financing for a 18,000 SF vacant lot to be developed into 82 workforce housing units located in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, CA. The Sponsor is addressing the need for workforce housing in this area of Los Angeles. There is a gap between high housing prices/rent and employee household incomes. This is creating a shortage of affordable housing. The loan represents 75% of the purchase price and is structured with a holdback feature to cover the predevelopment soft costs to bring the Project to permit-ready status. The interest-only land loan was priced at 5.50%, with an 18-month term and one 6-month extension option. The extension option gives flexibility to the Sponsor should they be unable to pull permits within 18 months. There’s additional flexibility with the loan structure because there is no prepayment penalty. Amid market uncertainty, GSP was able to leverage their network to identify land lenders who could provide certainty of execution. Despite being on a strict closing deadline, GSP was able to identify a lender who could close within the required deadline.
April 21, 2021
George Smith Partners secured financing for twelve acres of raw land located in the Western U.S. Our Sponsor plans to get a variance for this land to build out five, forty-unit multi-family buildings, with shared open air common areas and a pad for a restaurant. This financing was especially challenging due to the land being unentitled, without water, the location, low loan amount, and lenders being more restricted due to COVID.
Due to GSP’s vast networks and strong relationships, we were able to secure attractive financing for this Project. GSP arranged a 55% loan to purchase at 9.25% interest only, with a 24-month term and 12-month extension option. GSP’s ability to secure this financing in just 10 business days allowed the Sponsor to renegotiate the purchase price and get a hefty discount.
Most land lenders are restricted to 40%-50% leverage. This high-leverage financing structure allows our Sponsor to start pre-development, including entitlements and pulling permits. The extension option gives flexibility to the Sponsor should they face delays in getting to entitlement due to COVID effects. There’s additional flexibility because there is no prepayment penalty. Per our long-standing relationship with the capital provider, we were able to close this transaction in 14 days from receiving the request.
$16,500,000 Non-Recourse, Pre-Development Bridge Financing for Five-Property Co-Living Land Portfolio; Los Angeles, CA
February 10, 2021
George Smith Partners secured $16,500,000 in bridge financing for a five-parcel land portfolio located in Los Angeles, CA. The five individual parcels are entitled (one in process of entitlements) for co-living developments totaling 211 units and 879 beds. The non-recourse loan refinanced existing debt, while providing for permitting and carry costs prior to development, with four assets slated to break ground in early 2021, and the fifth in late 2022. The loan is sized at approximately 50% LTC on a 6.90% fixed rate, non-recourse, with a 12-month term. The loan did not require an interest reserve.
Given COVID related permitting delays and perceived impacts to the co-living product type brought by the pandemic, GSP was able to identify a lender that understood the stability of the submarkets for future development and the resilience and growth of co-living over the next several years. The infill development sites, and high-density entitlements provide strong value to the collateral base for this financing. The loan closed within five weeks of term sheet execution (including the holiday and New Year’s break).
January 6, 2021
Transaction Description: George Smith Partners secured an $8,150,000 pre-entitlement land development loan for a proposed 400-unit project in Montana. The 65% loan to cost financing is priced at 5.00% over LIBOR (with a 50-bps floor) interest only. The loan will allow the Sponsorship to build out the necessary infrastructure to obtain the plat map and secure full entitlements in 2021. The Project will be one of the largest in the state of Montana and this crucial financing is essential to meet the growing housing shortage in these markets which have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Challenge: The large, pre-entitlement project is situated on the outskirts of a tertiary market that was officially classified as a Micropolitan Statistical Area (according to the 2010 Census). Moreover, despite the Institutional Sponsorship, the small market is not a target focus for many regional or national lending institutions traditionally capable of handling loans of this nature. The size of the loan also precluded many local/state banks from obtaining the necessary leverage for the Project.
Solution: GSP secured a regional bank with headquarters near the Project which could understand the growth metrics of the projected Metropolitan Statistical Area (based on the 2020 Census) and how the Project will be vital to the long-term development of the City. The bank relied on the financial strength of the Sponsorship to advance 65% LTC and become comfortable with the pre-entitlement status of the Project. The loan which closed in 45 days from application also included a necessary bank provided, letter of credit to the City which guarantees the necessary capital to be invested into the Project to obtain entitlements.
December 16, 2020
George Smith Partners arranged $12,500,000 in non-recourse financing for the acquisition of land which the Sponsor will entitle for 333 apartment units. GSP was able to locate a lender able to provide 85% of the purchase price. Not only was the loan high-leverage, it had no holdbacks for pre-development costs, making servicing very simple for the Borrower. The Sponsor intends to complete the entitlements and refinance into a construction loan in 6-12 months.
October 21, 2020
GSP secured a $4,200,000 bridge loan for unentitled land in Pasadena, CA. The site is proposed to be developed into 59 luxury townhomes. The loan is fixed at 5.9% for a 12-month term with two 6-month extensions. The proceeds represent 45% of the total cost to purchase the land and entitle it.
The Sponsor acquired the Property in 2015 and has been working with the City to receive entitlements to develop the townhome plot since property acquisition. The land remains unentitled; however, the Sponsor expects to receive Ready-to-Issue (RTI) in 6 months which would provide significant value appreciation. The Sponsor had a loan coming due on the Property and needed to refinance. Given the economic situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many lenders were hesitant on providing financing.
GSP demonstrated that the location of the Property and market are very strong, and the specific neighborhood is undergoing a revamp. The Sponsor is an experienced Los Angeles developer who is familiar with the entitlement process and the Property is less than six months away from receiving RTI.