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june 2012 The Insider’s Monthly Guide to New York’s Commercial Mortgage Industry Q&A: The M.O.

june 2012

The Insider’s Monthly Guide to New York’s Commercial Mortgage Industry

Q&A: The M.O. chats with Iron Hound Management Co.’s Robert Verrone The Best of Intentions
Q&A:
The M.O. chats
with Iron Hound
Management Co.’s
Robert
Verrone
The Best of
Intentions
The mystery
of the missing
HPD renovations
Power Profile:
Alan Wiener
Wells Fargo’s Multifamily
Philosophy, plus Mr. Wiener’s
Unwelcomed Guests
Inside SL Green’s Monumental 1515 Broadway Loan
Inside SL Green’s
Monumental 1515
Broadway Loan
Stein’s Law: How to Negotiate Rent Resets
Stein’s Law:
How to Negotiate
Rent Resets
Michael Stoler Takes an In-Depth Look at New Lenders
Michael Stoler Takes
an In-Depth Look at
New Lenders
The Basis Point: The Latest Freddie Mac Apartment Financings
The Basis Point:
The Latest Freddie Mac
Apartment Financings
Michael Stoler Takes an In-Depth Look at New Lenders The Basis Point: The Latest Freddie Mac
Michael Stoler Takes an In-Depth Look at New Lenders The Basis Point: The Latest Freddie Mac
Cover Photo by Will O’Hare   June 2012 / Contents

Cover Photo by Will O’Hare

 

June 2012 / Contents

 
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05
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321 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

 

212.755.2400

321 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036   212.755.2400 Carl Gaines Editor Jotham Sederstrom Editorial

Carl Gaines

Editor

Jotham Sederstrom

Editorial Director

Daniel Geiger Daniel Edward Rosen Staff Writers

Sam Chandan

20
20
24
24
 

Joshua Stein

Columnists

Michael Stoler

Contributor

Barbara Ginsburg Shapiro Associate Publisher

Robyn Weiss Director of Real Estate

Editor’s Letter 02

 

Peter Lettre

 

Photo Editor

Dean Quigley

 

News Exchange 04

 

Workforce 18

Art Director

Mortgage originations, note sales, investments, industry research

Hirings, promotions, defections and appointments

Mark Stinson Production Manager, Designer

Bank of China’s 1515 Broadway loan

 

Arcturus helps settle Atlantis debacle

Lauren Draper

Ariel Property’s multifamily sales report

 

Power Profile 20

 

Designer

CBRE Capital Markets Debt & Equity on the move

Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital’s Alan Wiener by Carl Gaines

Lisa Medchill Advertising Production

Washington Trust’s NYC activity

   
   
 

In-Depth Look 11

The Best of Intentions 24

 
 

OBSERVER MEDIA GROUP

 

A comprehensive take on CRE finance trends by Michael Stoler

 

HPD under scrutiny as residents, left holding mortgage, question where $4.5 million in renovations went by Daniel Geiger

 

Jared Kushner

 

Publisher

Elizabeth Spiers

 

Editorial Director

 

Scheme of Things 14

 

Q&A 28

Christopher Barnes

 

President

Monthly charts of commerical real estate financings in the five boroughs

Robert Verrone | Iron Hound Management Co. by Carl Gaines

Barry Lewis Executive Vice President

 

Jamie Forrest Associate Publisher, Senior Vice President

 

Stein’s Law 16

The Sked: June 31

Michael Woodsmall

Ground Leases: One Key Issue by Joshua Stein

 

Our picks for the month’s must-attend events

Editorial Manager

   

Zarah Burstein

 

Marketing Manager

Mark Pasquerella

 

The Basis Point 16

 

Of Interest 32

 

Controller

As Lending Competition Heats Up,

An index of all the people, places, addresses and companies mentioned in this issue

Tracy Roberts Accounts Payable Manager

Accounts Receivable

 
 

Agency Financing Undiminished by Sam Chandan

   

Ian McCormick

Editor’s Letter / June 2012

Editor’s Letter / June 2012
Editor’s Letter / June 2012
Editor’s Letter / June 2012 Mostly Multifamily This month’s issue of The Mortgage Observer has a

Mostly Multifamily

This month’s issue of The Mortgage Observer has a pretty solid multifamily focus—from the affordable, agency- generated fare happening in the city today to where one of the major players in loan securitizations, pre-crisis, has landed since. Many of the names should be familiar to followers of The Commercial Observer’s Power 100, which hit stands May 8. For this month’s Power Profile, for instance, I spoke with Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital’s Alan Wiener, who came in at number 33 on that esteemed—and always controversial—list. He’s a wealth of information, and I enjoyed learning more about some of the projects that Wells Fargo has a hand in financing in New York City, which, after a while, seemed like most of the major ones. It was also interesting because, as a former New York director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Wiener helped to organize President Jimmy Carter’s 1977 visit to the South Bronx. Those images provided me with my first glimpse of a scale of urban decay thereto unknown to this kid from Virginia. The last thing I’ll say about it is that it was a real lesson in irony, or at least duality. Raised in the Bronx, the

son of a candy store owner, and a staunch advocate for affordable housing, Mr. Wiener was visited April 14 at his home by two

busloads of protesters from an Occupy Wall Street spinoff, the 99% Spring. The Mortgage Observer also got to speak with Rob Verrone, the founder of Iron Hound Management and number 93 on the Power 100 rankings, for the Q&A this month. A Wachovia alum, like Mr. Wiener, Mr. Verrone talked about the thought process that went into founding the advisory firm in early 2009 and the brisk business he has seen since. Then, lastly as far as the Power 100 is concerned, we took at look behind the scenes of SL Green’s massive loan for 1515 Broadway, where it has recently been announced Viacom would not only release its current space, but over time expand into all of the building’s leasable space. SL Green’s Marc Holliday and Andrew Mathias topped this year’s Power 100. Otherwise, all the usual great features are included in this, our third issue, including mortgage charts and columns by Sam Chandan and Joshua Stein. As always, let us know what you think and please share your deals and tips.

and Joshua Stein. As always, let us know what you think and please share your deals

Carl Gaines, Editor

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News Exchange / June 2012

Note sales, investments, mortgage originations, mergers and acqusitions

investments, mortgage originations, mergers and acqusitions Originations Bank of China Inks Huge Loan for SL Green’s

Originations

Bank of China Inks Huge Loan for SL Green’s 1515 Broadway

Bank of China Inks Huge Loan for SL Green’s 1515 Broadway 1550 Broadway tionship with Bank
1550 Broadway
1550 Broadway

tionship with Bank of China. “it started small and slowly and as they developed knowledge of America and New York they have made some decent sized loans outside of New York. But New York is a particular focus of theirs.” He has been representing them for 12 years, he said. “But in the beginning it started small and slowly and as they developed knowledge of America and New York they have made some decent sized loans outside of New York. But New York is a particular focus of theirs for ob- vious reasons since they’re based in New York. As far as placing other New York-area financing, the bank is always open to new opportunities. “In any busi- ness in this world in today’s economy, they say, ‘If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward,’” Mr. Cices said. “They’re always looking.”

by Carl Gaines

{

$775 million loan will now replace

previous financing, also from BOC. }

Viacom’s lease renewal and expansion at 1515 Broadway, which will lead to its taking the entire- ty of the asset’s leasable space, was preceded by one of the largest commercial mortgage loans the city has seen recently. The Bank of China’s penchant for Class A Manhattan office buildings, and its history at 1515 Broadway, led to the deal. The $775-million first mort- gage the bank provided recently will allow owner SL Green Realty Corp. to replace $447 million in fi- nancing that had been in place since 2009—also from the Bank of China. SL Green officials said the differ- ence will be used to pay for the transaction and “for gen- eral corporate purposes.” Simon Cices, a partner in the New York office of Atlanta-based Troutman Sanders, represented the Bank of China in both the 2009 loan and this most re- cent refinancing. He told The Mortgage Observer that the loan was negotiated both with and without Viacom in mind. “The outside date for Viacom to make its decision had not yet arrived, but the bank basically did its analy- sis under either scenario, which is the right thing to do for any conservative bank,” Mr. Cices said, adding that the bank has been a client for 12 years now. “We think this is a great loan to make—it’s a great property.” The loan is for a term of seven years and was bro- kered by HFF, according to sources. Familiarity with the building, with SL Green and with Viacom as a ten- ant definitely helped move the process along, Mr. Cices said, even with several balls in the air at once. “The Bank of China has made other loans to SL Green—600 Lexington Avenue is a loan that they have, 3 Columbus Circle—there are a few,” Mr. Cices explained. “So there is an ongoing relationship and trust between the two companies. This one went pretty quickly. From term sheet to closing—I’d like to say two months. Since we had represented the Bank of China in 2009, when they did the last iteration of the loan, we were very familiar with the Viacom lease as it existed, and since they were by far the largest tenant it made the legal analysis much easier.” “But in the beginning,” he said, referring to his rela-

Citigroup Provides $9.5 M Refinancing Loan in Soho

his rela- Citigroup Provides $9.5 M Refinancing Loan in Soho { Citibank provided the loan for

{ Citibank provided the loan for the Custo Barcelona properties. }

A team from CBRE Capital Markets Debt & Equity Finance has arranged a $9.5-million refinanc- ing for a two-building portfolio located in Soho. According to sources, the properties—145 Spring Street and 474 Broome Street—are owned by fashion house Custo Barcelona, which obtained the loan. The 10-year, fixed-rate loan allowed the borrower to take advantage of the current low interest rate envi- ronment. The rate was in the 6 percent range, accord-

ing to a CBRE spokesman. It has a 60 percent loan- to-value ratio and was provided by Citibank. “This nonrecourse financing enabled an off-shore owner to effectively recapitalize previously unen- cumbered assets for a 10-year period at a historically low interest rate,” CBRE Capital Markets executive vice president Keith Braddish said about the fi- nancing. Mr. Braddish secured the loan with vice president Jason Gaccione, also of CBRE Capital Markets, and Michael Blum, a vice president in CBRE’s Retail Services Group. 145 Spring Street is an eight-story, mixed-use building. It has roughly 15,400 square feet of rent- able space, including six apartment units and ground- floor retail space—which is currently occupied by Maje, a clothing line. Located about a block and a half away, 474 Broome Street is a 2,500-square-foot retail condominium occupied by Custo Barcelona.

Cantor Provides $13.6 M Office Refinancing Loan

Barcelona. Cantor Provides $13.6 M Office Refinancing Loan { HFF arranged recent Cantor Commercial Real Estate

{ HFF arranged recent Cantor Commercial Real Estate deal. }

HFF has helped to refinance the maturing con- struction and permanent loan on Claremont Corporate Center, a 41,982-square-foot, Class A office building in Summit, N.J., officials announced. Proceeds from the $13.6-million, 10-year, fixed-rate loan secured in the refinancing were used to replace previous financing put in place by HFF in 2008 when owner Greenock Capital renovated the two-sto- ry building, which dates back to 1873 and had been known as the Risk Building after Dr. William Risk, who settled in Summit and occupied it at the time. Jon Mikula, a senior managing director at HFF who led the team that worked to secure the loan, told The Mortgage Observer that it closed in 45 days from the time the term sheet was signed. But the price per square foot for the loan stands out for the area. “I would say what was notable is it was a very high

Claremont Corporate Center
Claremont Corporate Center
June 2012/ News Exchange loan per square foot in our market here in New Jersey,”
June 2012/ News Exchange
loan per square foot in our market here in New Jersey,”
Mr. Mikula said. At $13.6 million, the loan would come
out to roughly $324 per square foot.
The lender is Cantor Commercial Real
Estate, which is helmed by executive managing di-
rector and chief executive Anthony Orso. CCRE
recently announced a new, $634.5-million issuance of
CMBS, designed to target middle-market borrowers.
Mr. Mikula speculated that this loan was being bun-
dled in that issuance. CCRE didn’t return phone calls
seeking confirmation.
Claremont Corporate Center was completed in ear-
ly 2010 and is already 100 percent leased to five ten-
ants, including Alterra Capital. It sits 22 miles to
the west of Manhattan.
Miscellany
Paradise Lost for
Kerzner International
by Carl Gaines
$25 Million from CIT
for Residential Condos
{
Arcturus Group advised two hedge funds in the
settlement. Together they held $120 million in
}
{ The loan will be used to develop
residential in Edgewater, N.J.
}
CIT Real Estate Finance has arranged a $25 mil-
lion senior secured loan that will be used for the develop-
ment of a residential condo complex in Edgewater, N.J.
The loan is to National Resources, which is developing
a 150-unit residential condo complex there called The
Lofts at Edgewater Harbor.
For CIT Real Estate Finance, it marks the first time
its current iteration has acted as sole lender for a project.
Group head Matt Galligan—profiled in the April is-
sue of The Mortgage Observer—said that financing for
The Lofts is pretty much in line with its focus on top-tier
sponsors and developers in major cities.
“I think it’s in the box,” Mr. Galligan said. “It’s a mid-
dle-market deal in the metropolitan New York area. And
we’ve done business with [Joseph] Cotter before when
we were at Bank of Ireland.” That project was an office
building in Norwalk, Conn., he said.
Joseph Cotter, principal at National Re-
sources, said in a prepared statement that the loan
would allow the development and investment firm “to
transform this former industrial site into a vibrant com-
munity of residential homes, shops and restaurants.”
The spot was once the headquarters for Unilever’s
Research and Development outfit. He added that
“CIT’s deep industry experience and skilled team was
able to quickly complete this transaction,” allowing for
construction to begin on the project’s next phase.
The admiration goes both ways. From Mr. Galligan’s
perspective, The Lofts was attractive due to its location,
among other reasons. “It’s got low leverage—about a
Kerzner International, a resort operator based in the Bahamas, underwent a restructur-
ing last week that has paved the way for the transfer of its Atlantis resort in the Bahamas to credi-
tors. New York-based Arcturus Group advised two hedge funds in the settlement. Canyon
Capital and Trilogy Capital together held roughly $120 million in B-notes that were secured
by the resort.
The updated settlement—revised from an earlier and subsequently blocked agreement that
caused those B-note holders to balk—transfers ownership of the resort to a fund managed by
Brookfield Asset Management. This resolution follows a rather complicated process that
Arcturus co-founder Jonathan Mayblum told The Mortgage Observer required an in-depth
understanding of the asset in question as well as of the stakes for all involved.
“The first thing it involves is trying to understand what everyone’s ownership in the asset is,”
Mr. Mayblum said. “Once you understand that it’s really looking at all the debt holders and un-
derstanding their positions.”
In this case, that may have been easier said than done. Some parties owned their stake in the
resort at par when it was originally bought, while others had bought in at a significant discount.
“And that means that everybody has a different objective as to what they want to accomplish,” Mr.
Mayblum explained, “and you have to find if there is some common or middle ground that will ac-
complish what everybody needs.”
Arcturus was retained by the hedge funds in December 2011, following talks that would have led
to Brookfield owning the resort under terms Canyon, Trilogy and other B-note holders found unac-
ceptable. Mr. Mayblum said that Arcturus, a real estate advisory firm, was able to better them.
“It was not necessarily that Brookfield would be a bad owner of the asset,” Mr. Mayblum said.
“As a matter of fact the settlement now leads to Brookfield now owning the asset. But I would
say now the new loan is under market rate terms and conditions.” The agreement also includes a
settlement.
The Brookfield fund swapped $175 million of debt for Kerzner’s equity interest, according
to a release from Kerzner International. Sources said the move was necessitated by the fact that
Kerzner’s debt was over leveraged. The company also announced the sale of a 50 percent owner-
ship interest in its Atlantis The Palm resort in Dubai to Istithmar World. It will continue to
manage both properties.
“With substantially less debt and a more flexible operating structure, Kerzner is well positioned
for sustainable long-term growth as a global management company,” company chairman Sol
Kerzner said in a prepared statement. “We are committed to working together with Brookfield
Fund, Istithmar and our other partners to continue blowing away our customers at all of our resorts
and properties around the world.

News Exchange / June 2012

Note sales, investments, mortgage originations, mergers and acqusitions.

investments, mortgage originations, mergers and acqusitions. Propelled by this loan and other activity over the first

Propelled by this loan and other activity over the first quarter of 2012, the firm saw a 110 percent in-

crease in the loans it closed, compared to the first quar- ter of 2011. Asked if any particular type of loan caused this uptick, Mr. Bergman said not really. “The one area there has been more of an increase is

in retail nationally,” he said, “because Wall Street is try-

ing to lend again.” Ira Zlotowitz, president of Eastern Union, also referenced an increase in Wall Street lending in a state- ment about the firm’s first-quarter volume. “While Eastern Union enjoys excellent relation- ships with key banks nationwide, we have also begun closing numerous deals with Wall Street lenders offer- ing commercial real estate loans,” he said. He added that these loans are “often priced lower than those of-

fered by standard commercial banks.” The firm said that it is currently placing $150 million each month in new commercial loans—many of them through Wall Street lenders.

nightspot Gun Bar. Though if Mr. Shah has his way, more retail and nightlife is headed there soon. He said that DelShah Capital will be entering into a joint ven- ture with Villa Pacri. In addition it has applied to the Landmarks Preservation Commission seek- ing permission to open a rooftop bar there, which Mr. Shah hopes will happen by next summer. “One of the other things that’s going to be kind of interesting is that we’re going to be doing some retail pop-up shops in the Gun Bar space,” he said, adding that Gun Bar is closed three or four days a week during the daytime. He said that negotiations are still underway with retailers, whom he declined to mention by name. However, he described the prospects as high-end.

HKS Capital Partners
HKS Capital Partners

$12.5 Million Refinance for Brooklyn Self-Storage

Edgewater Harbor
Edgewater Harbor
Million Refinance for Brooklyn Self-Storage Edgewater Harbor 50 percent loan-to-value ratio,” he said. “And it’s

50 percent loan-to-value ratio,” he said. “And it’s

right on the Hudson River, with unobstructed views and it looks across 96th Street so by the left-hand side you see the George Washington Bridge, straight ahead you see 96th Street and the panorama of Manhattan.”

Nursing Facilities Get $34 Million Refinance

Manhattan.” Nursing Facilities Get $34 Million Refinance { M&T Bank provided financing for portfolio; Eastern

{ M&T Bank provided financing for portfolio; Eastern Union arranged. }

Eastern Union Commercial has arranged $34 million in refinanced loans for a portfolio of skilled nurs- ing facilities located in southern New Jersey and an un- named New York City borough. Meanwhile, the com- mercial mortgage brokerage reported that loans closed during the first quarter of 2012 had increased by 110 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Financing for the nursing facilities was provided by M&T Bank and was negotiated by Abe Bergman, a managing partner at Eastern Union. It was tricky, Mr. Bergman told The Mortgage Observer, due to the prop- erties being in different stages of construction and initial loans that were coming due at different times. “There was one loan that was coming due that had an out-of-state bank as the lender on it,” he said, referenc- ing the loan on the facility in the borough, which had a due date of Dec. 31, 2011. “But that particular proper- ty wouldn’t have been appraised for what it initially ap- praised for when we did the original loan. It was a little bit of a challenge to get enough financing on it.” Eastern Union negotiated a three-month extension on that loan, giving it the opportunity to refinance the portfolio as a whole. Of the four properties, three are currently up-and- running, while the fourth is now under construction and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012. “Three of the facilities were swapped,” Mr. Bergman said of the various rates. “Out of the three facilities that were swapped, two of them are 20-year amortizations and one of them is a 25-year amortization, and the con- struction loan—that’s a floating-rate mortgage until the construction gets completed.”

Capital One Sells Note on 55 Gansevoort Street

completed.” Capital One Sells Note on 55 Gansevoort Street { Capital One Bank sold DelShah Capital

{ Capital One Bank sold DelShah Capital the note on the property. }

DelShah Capital has snapped up the note on

a 26,000-square-foot, five-story Meatpacking district

building it had been eyeing for several months—taking

the first mortgage and senior liens on 55 Gansevoort Street from lender Capital One Bank. The firm

plans to renovate some floors to create office space. It may also partner with a restaurant currently occupying space in the building. Michael Shah, principal and chief executive of DelShah Capital, told The Mortgage Observer that the deal was complex because a restaurant, Villa Pacri, occupies several floors there. “There was a tenant in the space that had the rights

to most of the floors, so we had been talking to the ten-

ant in conjunction with the lender and restructured the tenant’s lease as well,” Mr. Shah said. “The negotiations didn’t really focus on the term, they focused on them giving back certain spaces at the landlord’s option.” Mr. Shah said that his firm had a previous relation- ship with the lender, which sped the negotiations along. “It wasn’t just a first mortgage,” he explained. “It was a first mortgage and a series of liens that all in all, prob- ably exceed the value of the building. Effectively, the lender controlled the building.” The amount owed on the senior liens is roughly $30 million. In addition to Villa Pacri, 55 Gansevoort is home to

In addition to Villa Pacri, 55 Gansevoort is home to { Archetype Mortgage Capital provided loan,

{ Archetype Mortgage Capital provided loan, arranged by HKS. }

HKS Capital Partners has secured a $12.5 mil- lion, nonrecourse loan from Archetype Mortgage Capital for the refinancing of a Brooklyn self-storage

facility, The Mortgage Observer has learned exclusive- ly. The facility is 200,000 square feet and located in the Clinton Hill neighborhood. The loan-to-value ratio on Archetype Mortgage Capital’s loan was 65 percent. It replaces maturing CMBS debt on the facility. “We’re seeing a ton of CMBS maturities,” said Ayush Kapahi, a partner at HKS. “A lot of things are very time sensitive. Now that the market is com- ing back slightly, there are partners and partnerships that are beginning to either buy each other out or take on positions, and so execution is vital in this marketplace. And with the CMBS world, where there is really no one to talk to per se, you have to pay off by that time.” This refinancing closed in 32 days, according to Mr. Kapahi, who explained that it came in ona Friday morning, was cut by him on Sunday and signed up that Monday.

Mr. Kapahi declined to name the borrower,

in ona Friday morning, was cut by him on Sunday and signed up that Monday. Mr.
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News Exchange / June 2012

Note sales, investments, mortgage originations, mergers and acqusitions.

investments, mortgage originations, mergers and acqusitions. Springhill Marriott Long Island Washington Trust Provides
Springhill Marriott Long Island
Springhill Marriott Long Island

Washington Trust Provides $10.4 Million for Long Island Hotel

Trust Provides $10.4 Million for Long Island Hotel Self Storage at 35 Ryerson Street as the

Self

Storage at 35 Ryerson Street as the self-storage facility in question.

though

sources

identified

Moishe’s

though individual bids will be considered, the pool might best be sold in large chunks, maybe even to a single in- stitutional investor, since these have shown increased ag- gression of late. “It’s going to be attractive to institutional investors as well as local owner-operators who might be interested in bidding for specific assets,” Mr. Sledge said. “But more to the point, the institutional investors who have been grow- ing more aggressive and have outbid to a large degree re- cently the loan-to-own local players are going to come af- ter this portfolio as well.” The dozens of assets securing the pool are diverse and spread from coast to coast. However, in the New York tristate area they include a $12-million industrial and cold- storage facility in Brooklyn and a Melvile office property saddled with an unpaid balance of $10 million. “The asset class spectrum is broad,” Mr. Sledge told The Mortgage Observer. “It’s pretty much everything that you’d expect to see from a special servicer—you have

office, retail, multifamily, industrial, hospitality, manufac- tured housing, self storage.

And the list kind of goes on and on.” Interest, he added, has already been strong. This is due in part to collateral that is “typically very sol- id in comparison to oth- er bank loan sales that are out there currently in the market,” Mr. Sledge said.

Oversight of the properties by CW Capital Asset Management has helped as well. “You have structured documentation because these as- sets were originated to be sold into securitization so that documentation is fairly straightforward and clean,” he said. “And you have good data because you have an active

asset management process on CW’s behalf, so you don’t have many holes in terms of trying to fill in the blanks in terms of what’s happened from the point of origination

to today.”

As to how, and if, the pool is broken up, Mr. Sledge said that it’s too early to tell but that “price will dictate the direction.”

Bethpage Federal Credit Union Originates Loan for 621 West 46th Street

Credit Union Originates Loan for 621 West 46th Street A $6.4-million mortgage was taken for 621

A $6.4-million mortgage was taken for 621 West 46th Street, a 21,800-square-foot mixed-use building that’s home to ground floor retail as well as nightlife spot Hudson Terrace. According to sources, the loan was provided by Bethpage Federal Credit Union. It is a five-year, fixed-rate loan on a 30 year amortization at 4.5 percent. The loan was arranged by HKS executive vice presi- dent Joseph Piraino, who couldn’t be reached for comment. West End Development Corporation is the borrower.

JV Gets Acquisition Loan for Bleecker Street Condo

borrower. JV Gets Acquisition Loan for Bleecker Street Condo { Lender Sovereign Bank provided the $30.6

{ Lender Sovereign Bank provided the $30.6 million acquisition loan. }

A joint venture between JMC Holdings and RWN Real Estate Partners has acquired 156-168 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village for $30.6 mil- lion. The 26,500-square-foot retail condo is home to CVS and Le Poisson Rouge nightclub. Financing for the acquisition was arranged by CBRE Capital Markets Debt & Equity Finance and came in the form of an $18.5-million, five-year, interest-only acquisi- tion loan. A CBRE spokesman put the loan’s rate in the mid-4 percent range. It was provided by Sovereign Bank, according to a source, and was made at a 60 percent loan- to-value ratio. “This financing will facilitate the borrowers’ plans to make a $2 million capital investment in the property,” CBRE Capital Markets executive vice president Keith Braddish said about the financing. Mr. Braddish, who worked on the deal with vice presi- dent Jason Gaccione, also of CBRE Capital Markets, added that the capital improvements would include new storefronts, signage and façade work, “in order to bene- fit from substantially below-market leases with near-term expirations.” Both the buyer and seller were handled by Berko & Associates.

the buyer and seller were handled by Berko & Associates. { Bank enters New York market

{ Bank enters New York market with the loan to MCR Development.

}

Rhode Island’s largest bank—Washington Trust—is establishing a presence in the New York metropolitan area, issuing a loan to finance a Long Island Hotel. The bank provided a $10.4-million commercial mort- gage to MCR Development to finance SpringHill Suites by Marriott Long Island Brookhaven at 2 Sawgrass Drive in Bellport. MCR bought the hotel as part of a portfolio of 10 Marriott and Hilton ho- tels across the Northeast in 2010 for $164 million. “The hotel is ideally situated near several large New York business parks as well as major research and educa- tional institutions,” said bank chairman, president and CEO Joseph MarcAurele. “Its location, Marriott branding and strong management team have contribut- ed to the hotel’s success.” Washington Trust vice president Cate Fusco, a member of the bank’s Commercial Real Estate Group, served as the lead lender for the loan. Reached by phone, she declined to provide additional details about the loan.

she declined to provide additional details about the loan. Will Sledge Miscellany $345 Million in Distress

Will Sledge

Miscellany
Miscellany

$345 Million in Distress on Offer from Mission

Cornerstone Buys Part of Loan on 350 Park Avenue

Mission Cornerstone Buys Part of Loan on 350 Park Avenue { Meridian Capital brokered the $150

{ Meridian Capital brokered the $150 million loan purchase. }

Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors, the real estate arm of insurer MassMutual, has bought part of

a $300-million loan on 350 Park Avenue. The

bought part of a $300-million loan on 350 Park Avenue. The { Oversight by CW Capital
bought part of a $300-million loan on 350 Park Avenue. The { Oversight by CW Capital

{

Oversight by CW Capital Asset

Management kept collateral strong. }

Mission Capital Advisors is marketing a $345 million special servicer loan sale on behalf of special servicer CW Capital Asset Management, The Mortgage Observer has learned. The assignment marks the growing market demand for distressed loans. Will Sledge, a Mission managing director, said that,

CL Tower

$13,000,000 | 12-story high-rise

CL Tower $13,000,000 | 12-story high-rise Financing provided by: Commercial Real Estate Finance Drew Anderman
CL Tower $13,000,000 | 12-story high-rise Financing provided by: Commercial Real Estate Finance Drew Anderman

Financing provided by:

$13,000,000 | 12-story high-rise Financing provided by: Commercial Real Estate Finance Drew Anderman

Commercial Real Estate Finance

Drew Anderman danderman@walkerdunlop.com

Alan Blank ablank@walkerdunlop.com

Atlanta | Bethesda | Chicago | Dallas | Ft. Lauderdale Irvine | Nashville | New Orleans | New York | Walnut Creek

News Exchange / June 2012

Note sales, investments, mortgage originations, mergers and acqusitions.

investments, mortgage originations, mergers and acqusitions. 350 Park Avenue borrower, Vornado Realty Trust , took the
350 Park Avenue
350 Park Avenue
originations, mergers and acqusitions. 350 Park Avenue borrower, Vornado Realty Trust , took the 5-year loan

borrower, Vornado Realty Trust, took the 5-year loan in January 2012 from lender New York Community Bank. Spokesmen for both Cornerstone and New York Community Bank confirmed the purchase to The Mortgage Observer, but declined to provide addi- tional details. 350 Park Avenue is 585,000 square feet and populat- ed by tenants like China International Capital Corp., M&T Trust and MFA Financial. The interest rate on New York Community Bank’s loan is 3.8 percent. It comes due in 2017. Meridian Capital Group brokered Cornerstone’s purchase of the loan, $150 million, and arranged the original loan back in January. It marks one of the first big deals for Terry Baydala, new to Meridian from Bank of Ireland.

five residential units in the building. Michael Shah, principal and chief executive of DelShah, said his team was “very excited about the acquisition.” Mr. Shah said plans included touching up the condos. “Morgan Lofts is a high-quality asset in a fast- growing submarket of Manhattan,” Mr. Shah said. “The property has been negatively impacted by the financial crisis and we are confident our involve- ment will strengthen the financial and operating ca- pacity of this asset.” Mr. Shah shared that he had also just resolved the bankruptcy on 118-120 South Second Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, receiving payment for the senior lien. DelShah had paid all cash for a nonperforming note on that property last year for $5.1 million and had been working through creditor litigation and a bankruptcy. The result was a $7.1 million payoff from the owner.

creasingly willing to provide discounts and write-downs. “Today given, one, an increase and improvement in markets and, two, the fact that they’ve earned their way out of some of these problems, they have the flexibility to write down,” Mr. Zegen said. “We’re seeing a lot of trans- actions happen because of that throughout the country.” The other deals that put MRC’s volume over the $25-million mark include the note on an 80,000-square- foot office building, with retail component, in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn.

Industry Research

Ariel Property Advisors:

Multifamily Sales Strong

Research Ariel Property Advisors: Multifamily Sales Strong { March saw a total of 50 multi- family

{ March saw a total of 50 multi- family sales for $392.4 million. }

New York City multifamily sales have been experienc-

ing a healthy spring season, according to a new report from Ariel Property Advisors. The firm’s Multifamily Month in Review for March showed an increase in sales, with Brooklyn taking the lead as most active of the boroughs. There were a total of 50 multifamily transactions—62 buildings whose sales came to $392.4 million for the month. This represents

a 43 percent increase in volume compared to the month previous. Of the 62 buildings that trad- ed in March, 22 were in Brooklyn, where the bor- ough’s 18 transactions carved out $69 million of total sales. “The March num- bers reinforce our belief

that 2012 will be a very strong year for the multifamily market,” said Shimon Shkury, president of Ariel Property Advisors. “From rising rents to the availability of financing to the scarcity of product, the scales are clearly tipped in favor of sellers.” Overall, Ariel’s analysis found that March numbers in Manhattan lagged sales seen in the borough the previous month—in fact, transactions dropped 23 percent and the number of buildings traded dropped 50 percent. A look back to March 2011, however, shows how much the mar- ket has improved in the long term: The dollar volume was a dismal $38.9 million. It jumped to $212.8 million in March 2012. The report surveys building sales over $1 million.

Banks’ Willingness to Do Write-Downs Fuels Biz

$1 million. Banks’ Willingness to Do Write-Downs Fuels Biz { Trend has led to $25 million

{ Trend has led to $25 million in deals for Madison Realty Capital. }

Since February, Madison Realty Capital has completed over $25 million of financing and note pur- chases, fueled in part by many banks’ increasing ability to take write-downs on existing debt. The transactions are spread over five note purchas- es and financings for properties located in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, according to the firm. “Those $25 million of deals are a combination of new loans that we’ve made, bridge loans, and also we’ve bought a number of debt positions,” MRC co- founder and managing member Joshua Zegen told The Mortgage Observer. In Long Island City, Mr. Zegen said the firm had provided a $3.75-million bridge loan to finance the ac- quisition of the note on a 45,000-square-foot industri- al property that has been rezoned for residential. The property has an additional 45,000 square feet of air rights on top. He pointed out that such third-party purchases of distressed debt are often difficult to see financed by a bank. “Typically when someone buys distressed debt it’s very hard to get bank financing for that transaction,” Mr. Zegen said. This is partly due to the speed required on these deals, he said. Lennar, the special servicer, was looking to sell and so this deal moved rapidly, closing in 10 days. As a lot of smaller and mid-size savings banks experi- ence improved earnings, Mr. Zegen said that they are in-

Shimon Shkury
Shimon Shkury

First Central Savings Sells Morgan Lofts Note

Shimon Shkury First Central Savings Sells Morgan Lofts Note { DelShah’s purchase is in addition to

{ DelShah’s purchase is in addition to a previous loan it bought.

}

The note on the Morgan Lofts, a residential condo

at 11 East 36th Street, has been taken by DelShah

Capital, The Mortgage Observer has learned exclu- sively. The payoff on the loan is $11 million. DelShah made the purchase from First Central Savings Bank. The collateral is 14 residential units across 11,467 square feet, 6,483 square feet of

ground floor retail space and a 5,320-square-foot sec- ond floor office suite. The firm previously purchased

a $2.2-million loan from China Trust Bank for

A comprehensive take on CRE finance trends June 2012 / In-Depth Look

A comprehensive take on CRE finance trends

June 2012 / In-Depth Look

Start Spreading the News

June 2012 / In-Depth Look Start Spreading the News From South Florida to Kuwait, outside lenders

From South Florida to Kuwait, outside lenders taking a bite out of the Big Apple.

The bank

by Michael Stoler If you’re a financial institution with aspirations of becoming a major player
by Michael Stoler
If you’re a financial institution with aspirations of
becoming a major player in the world of commercial
real estate financing, it is essential to build a presence
in New York City. In the same vein as the lyrics of the
theme song from the Martin Scorsese film New York,
New York, lenders truly want to be a part of it. To
make this possible, several area lenders are staffing
up and making strategic acquisitions.
During the last real estate cycle, which began in
the mid-1990s and lasted through 2009, a number of
new lenders entered the financing arena for commer-
cial real estate. Foreign banks as well as national and
local financial institutions established lending opera-
tions in New York City and around the nation. As the
global recession arrived in 2009, the ranks of lenders
thinned out due to borrowers’ inability to repay their
financial obligations.
The casualties and failures of the past recession
include Fremont Savings & Loan, HSH Nordbank,
Anglo Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Bank of Smith-
town, Washington Mutual, Corus Bank, Liberty
Pointe Bank, Park Avenue Bank, BankUnited, Supe-
rior Bank and IndyMac.
While these and other lenders have failed, others
have risen to the occasion to provide must-have real
estate financing.
In May 2001, a new commercial bank, initially cap-
italized by Israel-based Bank Hapoalim—Signature
Bank—opened in New York City and Long Island.
In November 2007, after the acquisition of North
Fork Bank by Capital One, Signature decided to be-
come a major force in the mortgage financing arena
with the hiring of George Klett. Mr. Klett was named
group director, executive vice president and chairman
of Signature Bank’s newly created Commercial Real
Estate Committee. Over the past four years, Signa-
ture Bank has become a major player in the arena, last
year providing more than $1.6 billion in new loans.
New Jersey-based Investors Bancorp, the parent
of Investors Bank, had grown its assets to nearly $11
billion as of the end of 2011. The bank’s real estate
lending portfolio increased by 28.6 percent last year,
with total outstanding real estate loans of approxi-
has had a presence
in the New York
marketplace for
more than
a decade.
Paulo Garcia of Mercantil Commercebank
mately $3.5 billion. A few years ago, the bank opened
its commercial real estate loan origination office in
Grand Central Tower on East 42nd Street. In Janu-
ary, the bank completed the acquisition of Brooklyn
Federal Savings Bank, adding five branches to its net-
work, with two in Brooklyn and three in Long Island,
and approximately $390 million in deposits.
In the fall of 2010, Investors Bancorp complet-
ed the largest acquisition in its history, acquiring 17
branches and approximately $600 million in deposits
from Millennium BCP. The branches were located in
New Jersey and New York.
In February 2011, Astoria Financial Corp., with as-
sets of $18.1 billion, announced that Astoria Federal
Savings, its wholly owned subsidiary and the largest
thrift depositary in New York, hired the multifamily
and commercial real estate lending team from Sov-
ereign Bank. Gary Honstedt joined the bank to serve
as senior vice president and director of multifamily/
commercial real estate. He leads a team of six, who
will work to bring about the company’s re-entry into
multifamily lending in the New York City area.
In December 2010, People’s United Bank ac-
quired Smithtown Bancorp, the parent of the Bank
of Smithtown. Over the past decade, the Bank of
Smithtown has been one of the most active lenders
providing commercial real estate financing. This year,
the company increased its presence in Long Island
when it reached an agreement to acquire 56 Citizens
Financial Group branches in New York—primarily in
Stop & Shop supermarkets—for $3.25 million. The
transaction gave the bank an additional $325 million
in deposits and another 52 Stop & Shop branches,
including 29 on Long Island, eight in Westchester
County and six in New York City.
Word is that People’s United plans to increase its
presence in the metropolitan market with the hiring
of a team of seasoned lenders to develop a market in
multifamily real estate financing.
In 2005, Sovereign Bank and Spain’s Santander
established a strategic partnership, and on Jan. 30,
2009, Sovereign joined the Santander Group. Sover-
eign Bank has been and continues to be a major force
in the financing of multifamily residential properties
in New York City and the region. Last summer, the
bank announced the hiring of four senior executives
from foreign banks who previously were active lend-
ers in the marketplace. Over the past nine months
the team has been active in participating in the loan
participations for many of the major real estate trans-
actions in New York City, including the construction
loan for Extell Development’s mixed-use hotel and
luxury condominium on West 57th Street.
BankUnited, with $11.3 billion in assets as of
Dec. 31, 2011, also plans to enter the New York City
marketplace. On Feb. 29, 2012, it completed its ac-
quisition of New York City-based Herald National
In-Depth Look/ June 2012 A comprehensive take on CRE finance trends ‘ We are Bank,
In-Depth Look/ June 2012
A comprehensive take on CRE finance trends
‘ We are
Bank, which had three locations in the area. Another
recent acquisition that’s driving an entry into the New
York market is Provident Bank’s pending $40.5-mil-
lion, all-cash purchase of New York’s Gotham Bank.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quar-
ter of 2012.
One of the most active multifamily lenders dur-
ing the last real estate cycle was Washington Mutual.
After the bank was taken over by JPMorgan Chase
in September 2008, a number of Washington Mutu-
al executives joined Chase to originate multifamily
lending around the nation and in the tristate region,
where the bank hopes to provide up to $5 billion in
multifamily financing this year.
“We are excited to expand our business in the NYC
metro area as the fundamentals behind the commer-
cial real estate market have remained extremely
strong here throughout the cycle, particularly in the
multifamily space as there continues to be a shortage
of rental housing throughout the area,” Jason Pender-
gist, head of commercial term lending at JPMorgan
Chase, said in a prepared statement. “As the nation’s
largest apartment lender, Chase has the best platform
in the industry for delivering fast and right, low-cost
financing solutions to owner-operators of stabilized,
cash flow-producing commercial real estate assets,
and we look forward to the opportunity to share our
client-focused service with the New York market.”
Earlier this year Provident Bank announced that
it too had entered the New York City market and has
staffed up accordingly in its Midtown Manhattan of-
fices. David Bagatelle, executive vice president and
NYC market president, said the bank was drawn to
the New York City market because of the density of
quality clients here. He added that those clients “are
well suited to the bank’s business model of highly
personalized service.” Provident’s niche, he said, was
that it fulfills “a need for clients seeking custom real
estate banking solutions that small banks and mega
banks are equally not designed to deliver.”
Warba Bank, an Islamic bank based in Kuwait,
commenced operations in April 2010. The Kuwaiti
government, represented by the Kuwait Invest-
ment Authority, owns 24 percent of Warba Bank. In
April, the bank announced the conclusion of a financ-
ing deal to purchase a property in Long Island City
and develop it as a multifamily residential complex.
Warba Bank provided $20 million to finance the pur-
chase of the land.
Mercantil Commercebank, N.A. is one of the larg-
est privately held banks in South Florida. It is owned
by a Venezuelan company—Mercantil Servicios Fi-
nancieros—which is the largest provider of financial
services in that country. The Coral Gables, Fla.-based
bank operates a New York branch in a landmarked
townhouse at 11 East 51st Street and plans to increase
its lending for commercial real estate in the area.
“The bank has had a presence in the New York
marketplace for more than a decade,” explained
Paulo Garcia, a vice president in its real estate depart-
ment. “In 2011 we provided close to $100 million in
financing for real estate assets in the tristate area, and
this year we are planning to expand the scope of fi-
nancing and volume. Our focus will be on assets that
include multifamily, mixed-use, retail, office, medical
office and industrial.”
Another out-of-state bank seeking to enter the
metropolitan real estate financing arena is Washington
Trust. It recently provided a $10.4-million commer-
cial mortgage to a local developer for the financing
of the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Long Island
Brookhaven, a 128-room hotel in Bellport, N.Y.
Last October, San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Doral
Bank hired a group of real estate professionals to staff
up a new platform that will finance buyers of dis-
tressed loan portfolios, warehouse lines for bridge
loans and the bank’s own bridge lending program.
excited to expand
our business
in the NYC
metro area.
David Bagatelle of Provident Bank
‘ Provident
fulfills a need for
clients seeking
custom real
estate banking
Jason Pendergist of JPMorgan Chase
solutions.
The team is headed by Nicholas Santoro, a seasoned
real estate lender, and includes Tim Zietara and, most
recently, David Cohen.
Three established credit unions based in the great-
er NYC area have joined the ranks of active lenders
providing construction as well as permanent financ-
ing. One of the most active is Bethpage Federal
Credit Union, the largest credit union on Long Island
with more than $4.7 billion in assets. As of Feb. 29,
2012, Bethpage also ranked number one in asset size
for New York State. It was listed in the Top 20 in the
nation. The two other active players in the market
include Queens-based Melrose Credit Union, with
more than $1 billion in assets, and New York City’s
Progressive Credit Union, with assets in excess of
$600 million. These three institutions have provid-
ed more than $1.5 billion in real estate financing over
the past few years. With the real estate market im-
proving in the tristate region, expect other lenders
to join the ranks of financial institutions providing
much-needed financing.
Remember, as the lyrics to New York, New York
promise, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it any-
where.”

Scheme of Things / June 2012

Monthly charts of commercial real estate financings in the five boroughs

Scheme of Things / June 2012 Monthly charts of commercial real estate financings in the five

Mortgage Charts

The Mortgage Observer has compiled a month’s snapshot of top commercial real estate financings in
The Mortgage Observer has compiled a month’s
snapshot of top commercial real estate financings
in New York City. This month we take a look at
refinances versus purchases, top recent lenders,
total sales by borough and the six zip codes that
saw the most action. Data are drawn from Actovia,
which tracks mortgage information and stream-
lines leads from city records.
Top 10 Lenders
For April, New York Community Bank once again retained the top slot among lenders. Deutsche Bank cracked the
top 10 with 31 transactions recorded for the month. Investors Savings Bank saw nine more transactions recorded
for the month of April but still dropped a slot as the top 10’s totals for the month increased to 497.
BANK
MAR 2012
BANK
APR 2012
New York Community Bank
145
New York Community Bank
108
Signature Bank
73
Signature Bank
80
Refinances vs. Purchases
Capital One
45
JP Morgan Chase
66
JP Morgan Chase
43
Astoria Federal Savings Bank
48
The number of commercial real estate refinances has
been on an upswing during the past several months
despite a slight dip in April, when the number dropped to
930 from 960. Purchases increased, but only by one.
Astoria Federal Savings Bank
41
US Bank
41
Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh
33
Capital One
37
960
930
NCB
25
Flushing Savings Bank
33
Investors Savings Bank
21
Deutsche Bank
31
Flushing Savings Bank
18
Investors Savings Bank
30
Apple Bank
16
Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh
23
203
204
MAR
APR
MAR
APR
Total Sales by Borough
REFINANCES
PURCHASES
Brooklyn remained the busiest borough for sales, which increased to 181 in April.
Queens, which saw a big jump in our charts last month, had a decrease in sales from March to April.
Most Active Zip Codes–Financing
418
409
Williamsburg jumped to the top of the list of most active
zip codes for financings in April, with 32, tying it for first
place with parts of Chelsea and the West Village.
ZIP CODE
MAR 2012
ZIP CODE
APR 2012
11237
33
11211
32
181
163
11221
26
10011
32
105
94
97
10033
23
11237
26
73
56
58
10025
20
11206
23
11211
20
11226
20
MAR
APR
MAR
APR
MAR
APR
MAR
APR
MAR
APR
11385
20
11238
20
ALL
MANHATTAN
BRONX
BROOKLYN
QUEENS

The M.O. Columnists / June 2012

Stein’s Law

Ground Leases: One Key Issue

/ June 2012 Stein’s Law Ground Leases: One Key Issue Whenever a property owner negotiates a

Whenever a property owner negotiates a long- term ground lease of a development site, one issue supersedes almost all others: how should ground rent adjust over time to protect the property owner, as landlord, from inflation?

Typically, the parties resolve this issue by saying that every 15 or 20 years, they’ll reappraise

the development site that the landlord originally delivered to the transaction. The ground rent will become 6 or 7 percent of the then-current fair market value. Until that happens, rent goes up a bit every year. And it can never drop. Although ground leases often use this formula, tenants worry that in periods of low interest rates, such as the present, it may lead to overpaying the landlord—

producing excessive ground rent and diminishing, or even destroying, the value of the tenant’s leasehold. On the other hand, if the reset occurs during a real estate depression, the tenant may get lucky. Experience has also shown that the need to periodically revalue the site invites litigation, because landlord and tenant will have dramatically different views of what the site is worth—particularly as circumstances change. Those differences translate directly to dollars. Lots of them, over an extended time. The “standard formula” described above will never precisely correlate with what the adjusted rent “should be” under some “fair” view of the world. It’s a crapshoot. But landlords and tenants often still take their chances— recognizing that either party may face surprises, but also that this is the way everyone does it and lenders have financed similar leaseholds for decades. Landlords and tenants do sometimes try to find a better way. They often start by suggesting that the rent should, at least in part, reflect the tenant’s revenues. The landlord could receive some percentage of gross revenues, perhaps after modest deductions. It sounds reasonable. But what if the tenant doesn’t try very hard to rent the space? Or occupies the space itself to conduct business? Or doesn’t invest capital needed to achieve the highest rents? And what should the tenant deduct? And how can the landlord know the tenant isn’t lying or artificially reducing its revenues? Before long, the exercise reinvents the Internal Revenue Code. If the landlord doesn’t want to do that, how else can the landlord be protected from inflation and equitably compensated? One could tie periodic major rent adjustments to an

index. The obvious one is the consumer price index, but people in real estate usually think it goes up faster

than real estate values and rents. And if the parties cap any periodic rent adjustment, then they wouldn’t fully protect the landlord from inflation.

Perhaps they can find an index better than CPI, such as Class A office rents, the average daily rate for

hotel rooms in a certain market stratum, real estate tax assessments, or retail rents—always for some defined geographical area. Future changes in this index would drive changes in the ground rent, regardless of a particular tenant’s actual activities or revenues. Such an index could make sense, especially if it matched likely uses of the site. A ground leases once required payment of a certain amount of gold as rent. Congress

outlawed that in the 1970s. It may now be legal again, and it certainly protects landlords from the declining value of the dollar. But landlords typically care more about participating in the future value of a particular site. Tenants might experience a disconnect between the price of gold and what they feel is the right rent. As another approach, at lease signing the parties could estimate the total value of the project, land and building, as if the tenant had already built its intended project. They could then look at the ratio between the value of the unimproved site and the anticipated value of the whole development. Later, they would reappraise the whole development and recalibrate the rent so each party kept its overall share of total value. But this would still require appraisals and dealing with the issues these raise. Ground lease negotiators might eventually hedge some risks of ground rent adjustments through insurance or real estate futures markets—the same way farmers hedge commodity prices. But commercial real estate is not as fungible as pork bellies and corn. Leasenegotiatorstypicallyworrythatcreativestructures like those proposed herein won’t work right because of some problem no one thinks of until the litigation begins. It’s a reasonable form of free-floating anxiety when trying to create something “new and different” that will work right for 99 years. That fear of change, coupled with the need to satisfy future lenders, will often drive ground lease negotiators back to the traditional formula described at the beginning of this column.

Joshua Stein
Joshua Stein

Joshua Stein is the sole principal of Joshua Stein PLLC. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached at joshua@joshuastein.com.

The Basis Point

As Lending Competition Heats Up, Agency Financing Undiminished

Lending Competition Heats Up, Agency Financing Undiminished Theapartmentsector’sprivilegedpositionwent uncontested in

Theapartmentsector’sprivilegedpositionwent uncontested in the first quarter of 2012. Unmatched by commercial properties in the consistency of their performance, strengthening multifamily fundamentals continued to attract a

broad range of institutional and private investors, even as valuations tested new highs. National apartment cap rates fell 10 basis points in the quarter, to an average of 6.2 percent, reflecting

that price momentum is generally outpacing cash flow. In the most hotly contested gateway markets, the average

cap rate declined to just 4.9 percent.

Agencyfinancingre-

Sam Chandan
Sam Chandan

mains the lynchpin of the apartment sector’s investment momen- tum.Evenasbanksand life companies contest a larger subset of lend-

ing opportunities, the terms of competition are still being defined by the enterprises’ favored access to capital. Where banks are meeting head- to-head with the agencies or their lending partners, the former’s higher cost structures can rarely match the terms afforded by the government guarantee. The profits accruing from the enterprises’ multifamily activities are offsetting an observable share of the public investment under the senior preferred stock purchase agreement. In the first quarter, the offset was almost $1 billion in net income on a multifamily portfolio with a default rate well below 1 percent. The agencies’ first-quarter results capture an enviable track record and the legacy of their important contribution during the financial crisis. But it does not address the question of how far quasi-governmental institutions should reach now, when the public guarantee is central to their profit calculus. Policymakers and the

agencies themselves have been reticent on this issue even as they crowd out private lenders in the most contested segments of the market. The tight relationship between Treasury yields and the enterprises’ funding costs has allowed apartment interest rates to trend to historic lows. Across all lenders, the average long-term fixed-rate apartment mortgage carried an interest rate of 4.3 percent in the first quarter. For shorter-term mortgages, interest rates were below 4 percent as often as they were above. Segments of the market with the highest density of lenders also registered the lowest rates and spreads, even after controlling for measures of property quality. Debt yields follow a similar pattern, regularly falling below 9 percent as lender density increases. Among the facilitating structures, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been increasingly active in securitizing multifamily loans. Fannie Mae issued $7.1 billion in multifamily mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in the first quarter. As of mid-May, Freddie Mac had brought six K Certificate deals to market. As apartment market conditions have improved, the strong inflow of financing from the agencies and other market contestants has turned into a mixed blessing. Holding all else equal, access to low-cost financing

necessarily exerts upward pressure on asset prices. The apartment market in the first quarter reflects a degree of buoyancy that fundamentals alone cannot explain. Similar to our fourth-quarter 2011 analysis, updated metrics show an increasing sensitivity in new apartment loans to interest rate risks, the potential for a change in the agencies’ apartment mandate, changes in housing tenure bias and the potential for an exaggerated supply response in some parts of the country. Even so, the determination that loan quality—measured in terms of default probability and projected loss severity—is weakening does not depend on an expectation that property cash flow will decline. While underwriting to current cash flow and healthy occupancy and rent trends limit the risk of term defaults, the analysis shows that cash flow gains between origination and maturity may prove insufficient to offset the impact of higher interest rates on value and refinancing costs. Interest rate risks are most acute in scenarios where the feedback of improving fundamentals in lending standards persists and where the effective subsidy from agency financing is ultimately removed from the market. Whether that structural shift will take place is an open question that the agencies themselves cannot

is an open question that the agencies themselves cannot answer. On May 14, the Federal Housing

answer. On May 14, the Federal Housing Finance Administration released a draft strategic plan for its role as regulator of the enterprises. Three and a half years into its conservatorship, the FHFA has to contend with competing pressures. Under its mandate, the enterprises must be returned to solvency in a manner that minimizes taxpayer losses. At the same time, the FHFA would have the agencies toe the line on specific policy proposals, such as principal forgiveness for troubled single-family homeowners. The FHFA’s strategic plan makes no specific mention of the enterprises’ multifamily lines of business. In its most recent conservatorship plan, however, it signaled to Congress that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be required to assess “the viability of its multifamily operations without government guarantees.” Whereas the formal existence of the enterprises is within the purview of congressional mandates, the FHFA may sidestep the political gauntlet in the multifamily arena.

Sam

Chandan,

PhD,

is

president

and

chief

economist of Chandan Economics and an adjunct professor at the Wharton School. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached at dsc@chandan.

TO GET YOUR DEAL DONE, YOU NEED LAWYERS WHO KNOW THEIR WAY AROUND. With a
TO GET YOUR DEAL DONE, YOU NEED LAWYERS WHO KNOW THEIR WAY AROUND.
With a long history of handling the most complex
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Work Force / June 2012 Hirings, promotions, defections and appointments Multiservice law firm Loeb &
Work Force / June 2012
Hirings, promotions, defections and appointments
Multiservice law firm
Loeb & Loeb is boost-
ing its national real es-
tate department with
the addition of two part-
ners specializing in real
estate finance. Steven
president and managing director of Auction.com’s
Residential Capital Markets Division. “Having worked
on that side of the industry, Andrew has a unique under-
standing of how our clients operate and will strengthen
the already high level of service we provide.”
Steven Kornblau
Kornblau and David
GTIS Partners has
brought Drucilla
Richards on board as
a managing director
of Capital Markets.
She hails from TCAP
Associates, a real es-
tate industry-focused
Leonard Litwin
Board of New York.
The move follows a
unanimous vote by the
group’s Board of Gover-
nors. Mr. Litwin has been
a REBNY member since
1980 and was elected to
the Board of Governors
Kostman have both
joined the firm’s real estate department from the New
York office of Bryan Cave LLP. They’ve brought
with them an associate, Emily Rakowicz.
Mr. Kornblau concentrates his practice on real es-
tate finance, CMBS, property acquisitions and sales,
leasing and development. He was a partner at Bryan
Cave.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kostman, who was counsel at Bryan
Cave, particularly focuses on the origination, sale, secu-
ritization and servicing of commercial mortgage loans.
“Steven and David will add significant depth to our
already robust real estate department,” said Loeb &
Loeb chair Michael Beck. “This expansion of our
team will help us continue to deliver the best in legal
counsel to our real estate clients across the country.”
in 1985. He’s been sec-
retary since 1991. In 2009, he received the Harry B.
Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award, given
to a member for a “lifetime of exceptional accomplish-
ment in the profession and for invaluable contributions
to New York’s civic welfare.”
Drucilla Richards
executive search firm,
which she founded. TCAP closed in April 2012.
Ms. Richards’s past work also includes senior
management positions at Morgan Stanley, Legg
Mason and Trammell Crow. Over an institu-
tional real estate career that spans 30 years, she has
managed or co-managed 20 REIT IPOs.
The Mortgage Bankers Association recent-
ly presented its annual Burton C. Wood Legis-
lative Service Award
to
Michael Berman,
founder and member of the Board of Managers of CW
Financial Services
and president and CEO
Tom Shapiro, the president and founder of
GTIS, said, “Adding a real estate professional of
Dru’s caliber to manage our client services team is
a
key element of our growth strategy to continue to
Leslie Loffman has joined the New York office of
Proskauer as a tax partner. Mr. Loffman, regard-
ed as an expert in REIT tax law, was most recently a
partner at DLA Piper, where he was co-chair of the
firm’s REIT practice.
“Les is the real deal when it comes to REITs,” said
Peter Fass, a Proskauer partner and co-head of the
firm’s Real Estate Capital Markets Group.
“There isn’t another lawyer out there who is as fluent as
Les on the topic of complex real estate investments.”
Mr. Loffman provides listed and non-listed REITs,
as well as private investment funds, with tax structur-
ing and business advice. He’s a co-chair of the Practic-
ing Law Institute’s Annual Real Estate Tax Forum in
New York and serves on the advisory boards of the Na-
tional Real Estate Institute and Tax Management Inc.
provide excellent service to our existing clients as
well as expand our institutional investor base.”
of CWCapital.
According to the
MBA, the award is given
each year to an associa-
tion member employee
as recognition for “su-
perior service to the as-
Michael Berman
Marcus & Millichap
Real Estate Investment
Services has rehired Mi-
chael Rothstein as
a
senior associate in its
Manhattan office. Of late
from Besen & Associ-
ates, Mr. Rothstein rep-
Michael Rothstein
sociation and the real
estate finance industry as a whole.” It is named after
the late MBA legislative counsel Burton Wood,
who died in 2010.
MBA president and CEO David Stevens said that
the group owed a debt of gratitude to Mr. Berman
“for his instrumental role in placing MBA at the
center of the most important debate that will im-
pact the future of mortgage lending in this country,”
a reference to a proposal created by the association’s
Council on Ensuring Mortgage Liquidity.
Mr. Stevens said the MBA last year supported a near-
ly identical plan as one of three options in the White
Paper on Reforming America’s Housing Market.
Andrew Platt has
joined Auction.com
as managing director
of the company’s New
York-based Capital Mar-
kets team. He had most
recently been work-
ing with UBS’s Finan-
Andrew Platt
cial Institutions Group.
He has also worked as a senior member of the fixed
income teams at Lehman Brothers, Bank of
America and UBS.
“Our success is fueled by our relationships with lend-
ers and investors,” said Beth O’Brien, executive vice
resents investors in the
disposition of multifamily and mixed-use investment
properties. He rejoins M&M after leaving in 2010.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Michael back to the
firm,” VP and regional manager J.D. Parker said
of the rehire. “His in-depth knowledge of the New
York metro area’s real estate market makes him an
asset to our private clients.”
In 2007, four years into his first stretch at M&M,
Mr. Rothstein earned a National Achievement
Award and a Gold Sales Award from the firm. He
said that he returned to the firm “because of its
unique brokerage platform, culture of collaboration
and unparalleled access to investment capital from
all over the country.”
Leonard Litwin, president and CEO of Glen-
wood Management, has been named the first-ev-
er Lifetime Honorary Chairman of the Real Estate
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods recently hired
Charles Lucas as head of European Equity Capi-
tal Markets. He’ll oversee public and private place-
ments of hybrid equity securities at the bank. Mr.
Lucas was most recently the managing director of
Equity Capital Markets at Royal Bank of Scot-
land. In his new position, he’ll report directly to
KBW Limited’s CEO, Vasco Moreno, who said
that the firm is committed to continuing to grow its
core European business and “thrilled to have some-
one with Charles’s experience join our team.”
Send tips to Carl Gaines at cgaines@observer.com.
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Power Profile / June 2012

Power Profile / June 2012
Power Profile / June 2012
June 2012 / Power Profile
June 2012 / Power Profile

June 2012 / Power Profile

ALAN WIENER

The Go-To Guy for Multifamily Loans

Profile ALAN WIENER The Go-To Guy for Multifamily Loans Mr. Wiener reveals all about Wells Fargo’s

Mr. Wiener reveals all about Wells Fargo’s multifamily lending secrets. Hint: It’s big.

by Carl Gaines

Alan Wiener called the whole thing “weird.” And, indeed, for several reasons it was an unusual scenario: two busloads of folks from the Bronx 99% Spring, an Occupy Wall Street offshoot, gathered on his lawn on Saturday April 14, 2012, a beautiful spring day. The buses had pulled up to the private drive leading to his Rye home as men, women and children took the short walk to Mr. Wiener’s property. Heidi Hynes, a spokeswoman for the group, told The Mortgage Observer that they chose Mr. Wiener “because he’s in charge of multifamily mortgages and because the Bronx is filled with multifamily housing.” Also, she said, he lives in Rye, which wasn’t far to travel. According to Ms. Hynes, Mr. Wiener is part of the predatory banking system that had over-financed mortgages and then received bailout money, even as programs for poor kids in the Bronx were cut. Here’s where it gets weird, at least somewhat.

Mr. Wiener, as group head of Wells Fargo Mulitfam- ily Capital, is inarguably part of a massive banking system. He’d be the first to tell you that the bank generated $6.5 billion in permanent multifamily lending last year, making it the largest such lender in the country. The bank also sat atop the Mortgage Bankers As- sociation’s list of commercial real estate/multifamily finance firms for 2011 in a vast number of categories, including the broad category of total originations. In the tristate area, tucked among these originations are all the projects one would expect—like the $525 mil- lion Wells Fargo helped provide for Gotham West. It held $150 million. But the bank also originated a $531 million Freddie Mac loan to refinance Starrett City in 2009, keeping 5,881 housing units affordable for another 30 years. Up- coming this year, in a deal that Mr. Wiener anticipates will close by late summer, is an intended $600 million loan to refinance the Bronx’s Co-op City, which would

keep its 15,000 units affordable for another 35 years. Adding to the weirdness factor, Mr. Wiener served for several years in the late '70s and early '80s as the New York director for the U.S. Department of Hous- ing and Urban Development, during which time the agency insured and funded more than 50,000 new and renovated multifamily units. As part of the Wells Fargo system, Mr. Wiener’s dominion is vast and the result of the bank’s long- standing role as a big commercial real estate lender. “We’re a huge real estate bank,” he told The Mort- gage Observer recently in his office. “Our philosophy is who we lend to. If you look at the downturn in ’08, Wells fared fine. And why did it fare fine? Because of who we lend to. We actually like to get paid back.” Today that means financing deals for the likes of the Gotham Organization, Starwood, Blackstone and the Related Companies—all organizations able to see an upside to building ever-popular multifamily housing

in New York City, where the 421-a tax abatement

able to see an upside to building ever-popular multifamily housing in New York City, where the

Power Profile / June 2012

Power Profile / June 2012
Power Profile / June 2012

It’s about your history. If it’s a nonrecourse loan and you say ‘Here are the keys,’ we’re

o.k. with that.

means most rentals go up as 80/20 projects. Bobby Van’s steakhouse near his office. He

means most rentals go up as 80/20 projects.

Bobby Van’s steakhouse near his office. He explained that it has its advantages. “One, you’re consistently in the market,” he said. “So even in the down times we were in the market. If you look at some other banks—take a look at JP- Morgan—sometimes they’re in real estate, sometimes they’re not. Consistently, Wells Fargo has always been in real estate, and being in the market and being such a large player in the market gives us the opportunity to actually pick who we want to lend to.” Like many lenders, relationships and character are a key factor in the decision-making process for Mr. Wiener and his colleagues. In fact, many of the big-name developers currently on the bank’s roster of clients followed him to Wachovia when he sold his company, American Property Financing, to the bank in May 2006. APF was focused on financing and loan servicing for the multifamily sector throughout the United States. And in New York it was the top mul- tifamily lender. Mr. Wiener, as founder and chairman, had built it to such a size that its loan portfolio was more than $10 billion. By comparison, at Wells Fargo, the multifamily lending portfolio is at $70 billion. When Wells Fargo agreed to buy Wachovia for $15.1 billion in 2008, many of Mr. Wiener’s high-end,

top-tier borrowers once again followed him. “Wells had never done business with a lot of them,” he said. “I’d been their permanent lender, many of them, for a while. And now Wells is doing a ton of con- struction lending to them as well.” He said he brought Two Trees Management Co. to Wells Fargo to do bal- ance sheet lending after doing its permanent lending through Wachovia. The same for Related and Gotham and Glenwood. This led to financing for projects like Two Tree’s Mercedes House at 555 West 53rd Street, done in conjunction with JPMorgan Chase and the New York State Housing Finance Agency. For phase one, Wells Fargo provided the entire $70 million. For phase two, it is holding $115 million out of $230 million. It also led to upcoming pools of financings—like developer Jeffrey Levine’s the Ohm at 312 11th Avenue in Chel- sea—a $120 million hold, out of $191 million. Mr. Wiener was born in the Bronx, where his father owned a candy store and, later, a liquor store. He grad- uated from the University of Pennsylvania and got his law degree from Georgetown. While at HUD in 1977, he helped to organize Presi- dent Jimmy Carter’s iconic tour of the South Bronx, which drew attention not only to the blight there but

Mr. Wiener said that Wells Fargo has a large pipe- line of 80/20 program developments going into 2012 and 2013 and that they’re “with the normal guys you’d think we’d do business with.” The bank truly does do business with all the usual suspects in the New York City area. Being the largest means having the luxury of choice and the ability to be extremely selective. Mr. Wiener and Michael Kaczyn- ski, a senior vice president at the bank whose focus is construction loans, both said that they’ll consider new clients, but only after a thorough vetting process. “We’re very selective—top tier,” Mr. Kaczynski ex- plained. “We don’t go too far down market.” “It’s really about your history,” Mr. Wiener inter- jected. “If it’s a nonrecourse loan and you say, ‘Here are the keys,’ we’re o.k. with that. But if you had a guarantee on a deal and you didn’t honor it, we’re not o.k. with that.” This rarely happens, said Mr. Wiener, who couldn’t recall a time when the bank had been burned on a deal in the tristate area. The sheer volume of the bank’s real estate lending activity is a topic Mr. Wiener revisits again weeks lat- er, over chopped Caesar salad and soft-shell crabs at a

Will O'Hare

June 2012 / Power Profile
June 2012 / Power Profile

June 2012 / Power Profile

Will O'Hare June 2012 / Power Profile also to the issue of urban decay throughout the

also to the issue of urban decay throughout the coun- try. Three years later, in 1980, he received an award from President Carter, in recognition of his public ser- vice and work at the agency. From HUD, he went to financial services firm Inte- grated Resources, where he worked as a vice president, directing the acquisition and financing of multifamily real estate, including affordable apartment units. “I did real estate tax syndications—doing both debt and equity on apartments, including affordable,” he said of his time at Integrated Resources. He told The Mortgage Observer that he thinks helping to provide affordable housing is important and that it’s some- thing he believes in. Integrated Resources went belly up in 1989 and Mr. Wiener stayed on until 1991, before leaving to found American Property Financing. At Wells Fargo, it’s clear that he’s managed to carve

He’s affable, yet clearly demanding. “I encourage smart people to work for me—I appreciate it,” he said one afternoon in his office. “My attitude is as follows:

The more I get involved in your business, that’s not a good thing for you. I don’t like surprises.” That no-nonsense attitude coupled with his knowl- edge of the industry has made him an invaluable re- source outside of the bank. He’s on the board of the Phipps Houses Group, a nonprofit affordable housing advocacy group, and has been on the executive board of the Real Estate Board of New York for many years. REBNY president Steven Spinola, who has known Mr. Wiener for 25-plus years, said he regularly draws on that knowledge. “Alan is the kind of person who, once he meets you, makes every effort to get to know you well and stay in touch, and so he just started to get more and more involved in REBNY’s activities and became somebody that I would go to regularly, and continue to go to, for advice and input on issues,” Mr. Spinola said when reached by phone. Asked the na- ture of that advice—what topics Mr. Wiener was most valuable at doling out advice on—Mr. Spinola cited the nexus of his finance and policy experience. “Obviously, in terms of financial issues—of loans and what it takes for a project to get financing,” Mr.

Spinola said. “Throw in his knowledge from his days at HUD—so the information that he’s got stored in that head of his about housing and financing hous- ing—and then you throw in his city days as well as his federal HUD days. He also brings a good political sense to those discussions and to the advice that he gives.” Those HUD days seem to be particularly useful for advancing affordable housing projects like Coop City. Mr. Wiener said he called New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo—a former HUD secretary—and got him to agree for the state to take the first loss position. “Andrew understood completely, because he used to be HUD secretary and he saw the dynamics of this deal,” Mr. Wiener said. “He agreed that the state would take a first loss—that doesn’t mean they’re put- ting up cash. But in the event of a loss to HUD, the state and city take the first $70 million. That makes all the difference in the world.” For the immediate future Mr. Wiener said he would stay at the bank. He said he thinks their business is really well run, that they know what they’re doing and that they’re extremely well respected. “What I tell the people at Wells is,” he said, “if I’m having fun, if I like what I do, happy to stay.”

a

core, close-knit group of employees in the midst of

bank whose overall size, as he concedes, makes it “pretty depersonalized.” A name yelled from his cor- ner office, where he might be found typing with one finger, yields that person’s presence in rapid fashion. He calls people “kiddo.” “Capiche” is used to check the comprehension of a topic he’s explaining.

a

HPD / June 2012

HPD / June 2012
HPD / June 2012

The Best of Intentions

HPD / June 2012 The Best of Intentions HPD under scrutiny as residents, left holding mortgage,

HPD under scrutiny as residents, left holding mortgage, question where $4.5 million in renovations went.

by Daniel Geiger

resident of Cliffcrest, told The Mortgage Observer on a recent tour of the property, gesturing to walls in the building’s courtyard that were caked with peeling paint and crumbling plaster. A board of plywood was haphazardly affixed to the ceiling of the entryway to patch a large hole. “This is the renovation,” Mr. Burroughs said. Inside revealed more deficiencies and few obvious signs of the building-wide repair that was purportedly done only a few years ago. Among the most glaring examples of the property’s lingering problems were the roof, which looked as if it had been patched—not replaced, as Mr. Burroughs said the residents had been promised—and also the façade, which he said had not properly been sealed and allowed rainwater to seep in and cause chronic damage to interior walls and ceilings. Mr. Burroughs said the building’s boiler had been replaced but with an underpowered unit that he said was shoddily installed. “There is no way that $5 million was spent repairing that building,” said Adam Leitman Bailey, a real estate attorney who is representing the residents at Cliffcrest. They have not filed a lawsuit, but are considering litigation, Mr. Bailey said. “It’s simple, it’s either the most egregious kind of mismanagement or outright fraud,” he said.

In recent weeks Mr. Bailey has sent letters to various city officials, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office, demanding that an investigation be conducted. In February, he advised residents at Cliffcrest to stop paying the mortgage on the property, which they heeded. Pushing Cliffcrest into default was a calculated move, Mr. Bailey said, to force the property’s lenders, including HPD, to resolve the property’s issues. “Before, they wouldn’t even listen to us,” Mr. Bailey said. “Now they are.” Though there is no evidence that money was pilfered from the Cliffcrest project as Mr. Bailey alleges, the episode appears to raise troubling questions about some of HPD’s practices and oversight. Melissa Shetler, an executive with the group Justice 4 Homeowners, which lobbies on behalf of unionized construction labor, said that HPD doesn’t vet the contractors it uses for construction jobs as thoroughly as other city agencies do. She said there were numerous examples of townhouses HPD was involved in developing as affordable housing in Brooklyn in recent years that suffered from poor work or defects. “You have houses where the plumbing is back- pitched so the water tends to back up in the house

Six years ago the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development had a plan for Cliffcrest, a roughly 50-unit residential building in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights. The property, located at 938 St. Nicholas Avenue, had fallen into disrepair from years of neglect. Numerous liens hung over the building, including dozens of violations assessed by the city and over $40,000 in unpaid water and sewer fees. But by putting the building through an HPD program known as a third-party transfer, Cliffcrest could get a second life: The building was handed to a monitor who oversaw its refurbishment, and residents then assumed a mortgage that had been taken to pay for the construction. In return, they received ownership of their apartments. The process, which cost more than $4.5 million, aimed to patch the building up while keeping it affordable for the low-income tenants who live there. But a quick perusal of Cliffcrest six years after the renovation was done reveals the job didn’t go as it was supposed to—if it was even done at all. “Look at this place,” Carlton Burroughs, a

and flood,” Ms. Shetler said. “It’s the kind of

and flood,” Ms. Shetler said. “It’s the kind of
June 2012 / HPD
June 2012 / HPD

June 2012/ HPD

Cliffcrest
Cliffcrest

HPD / June 2012

HPD / June 2012
HPD / June 2012
HPD / June 2012 A courtyard leads to Cliffcrest’s lobby; walls in disrepair. 26
HPD / June 2012 A courtyard leads to Cliffcrest’s lobby; walls in disrepair. 26
A courtyard leads to Cliffcrest’s lobby; walls in disrepair.
A courtyard leads
to Cliffcrest’s
lobby; walls in
disrepair.
June 2012 / HPD
June 2012 / HPD

June 2012/ HPD

You have houses

where the plumbing is

back-pitched so the water tends to back up in

the house and flood.

Melissa Shelter

fundamental problem that any qualified contractor not want to speak on the record. Both said

fundamental problem that any qualified contractor

not want to speak on the record. Both said that, in the end, Cliffcrest’s residents were responsible for overseeing the work and that if the construction job went bad, it was their own fault. Yet questions loom about why HPD would bankroll a multimillion project with novices at the helm. The agency provided and continues to hold a roughly $3-million loan against the property. Bank of America financed the rest, about $1.5 million of the loan, but sold off the debt years ago to the non- profit group Community Preservation Corporation, an organization that itself has come under scrutiny in recent months for investment choices that have gone sour. A resident at Cliffcrest named Tom said that HPD and UHAB’s claim that residents were involved in the renovation wasn’t wholly false. He said that a single resident at the property, a woman named Ms. Fincher, who had been the president of its tenant association when it was still a rental building, was appointed by SHUHAB as a tenant representative. But both he and Mr.

Burroughs said that she received compensation from SHUHAB for that position of responsibility and hence was incentivized not to scrutinize the work nor encourage questions or skepticism from the building’s tenants. For Tom, a former bus driver for the MTA, the problems are especially distressing. Lured by the prospect of owning his own apartment in a building that was going to be fixed up, he poured his life savings, about $20,000, into buying a unit at Cliffcrest in 2006. As for HPD, the prospect of a potential improper allocation of funds comes at a sensitive time. Earlier this year, Wendell Walters, one of the agency’s senior level executives, pled guilty to accepting kickbacks from contractors whom he then helped to win bids to do work on HPD construction jobs. “We don’t have any proof yet that this is a fraud,” Mr. Bailey said of Cliffcrest. “But it certainly seems suspicious. No work was done and yet close to $5 million was spent. Where did the money go?”

would not make the mistake of creating.” In the case of Cliffcrest, HPD didn’t do the work itself. The building was ushered through its conversion into a renovated co-op by a partnership called SHUHAB, a venture between two nonprofit agencies—UHAB and Settlement Housing. Citing the potential for upcoming litigation, neither would comment on Cliffcrest, including Lee Warshavsky, Settlement Housing’s associate director and general counsel. According to Cliffcrest’s co-op board president, Mr. Burroughs, who said he has been a resident at the building for 10 years, it was SHUHAB that helped select a contractor and managed the construction process. The contractor that did the renovation, Dellwood Construction, appears to no longer be in business. “As residents, we were not invited to participate and were essentially cut out of the process,” Mr. Burroughs said. That contention was contested by both a spokesman at HPD and a source at UHAB, who did

Q&A / June 2012

 
Q&A / June 2012  
 

Robert Verrone

 
  Robert Verrone  

Iron Hound Management Co.

The Mortgage Observer spoke to Iron Hound principal Robert Verrone this month about why he started the firm and the importance of managing client expectations.

 
 
 

by Carl Gaines

Where do you see CMBS going this year?

 

I

think it’s only going up. I started in the CMBS

 
 

The Mortgage Observer: You founded Iron

business in ’94 and it was a $10 million business, then a $20 million business and a $25 million

There have been questions lately about not just the return of CMBS but CMBS in its riskier forms. Do you think this is a good thing?

won’t say if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. I have not seen underwriting standards deteriorate to the

I

Hound in early 2009. Can you talk about the volume of loan modifications that you’ve done this year and since opening shop?

business. It kept on going up and up. I think we’re in that same mode—what, $50 million this year?

don’t know what the number is supposed to be but it’s going in the right direction.

I

What’s a typical restructuring like?

The typical restructuring is that there is not a typical restructuring. Every lender has a differ- ent game plan that they like to follow. Every as- set manager within every lender typically has a different game plan that they like to follow. But what typically happens is that we get engaged. If it’s a CMBS loan, we work with the borrower and the lender to get the loan transferred to the special servicer. Then we do a very high-level underwriting—our job is to understand the asset as well as the client understands it. We then for- mulate a plan to approach the lender and come up with what we think is a good restructuring. Sometimes we’re like a life coach, because a lot of borrowers think their properties are worth more than they actually are and a lot of lenders think the properties are worth more than they actually are.

It sounds like a lot of managing a lot of people’s expectations. Is that the most difficult part?

Robert Verrone: Since opening shop we’ve done about $6.3 billion in modifications—that’s 70 deals. This year we’ve closed 12 deals at $989 million.

levels that they got to in ’07. And I don’t follow the CMBS market as closely as a lot of people may think. Do I think it’s a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know if I should be the one saying that. I don’t have enough information to know if it’s a good thing or

 

a

bad thing—I just know that the information’s out

 

What was your thought process when starting Iron Hound?

When Wachovia came to an end, I was going to start up a hedge fund with the gentleman whom I sublease space from—it’s called Scoggin—and it’s a hedge fund that’s been around for 20 years. We were going to start Scoggin Capital Real Estate, but then Lehman Brothers happened and the world ended so I just evolved and went into doing work- outs full time.

As the commercial real estate market improves, do you have to adjust your focus at all?

there. People are well educated and they can make their own decisions about whether they want to make a loan or buy a loan.

Do you think that your role originating and repackaging loans leading up to the financial crisis was misunderstood?

The facts are pretty plain, pretty out there. One is, if you look at the most recent research report, Wachovia has the lowest realized loses of any CMBS originator since CMBS started. Eighty basis points— so our collateral performance has been great. There are still a lot of things that can happen to change that. That’s number one. Number two is, I think the people who know, know that in ’07 when the market changed, Wachovia was one of the first institutions to realize the market change and literally started

selling collateral very quickly. Myself and the guys

As the market improves, the pace of workouts is definitely going to slow down but I don’t see my workout business going away anytime soon. There are still billions and billions of dollars of deals that have to be restructured. And we’re probably one of the only shops in the country doing it. Every- one else who started it kind of went away. But we are expanding our product line—we’re doing some mortgage brokerage, raising some equity, and we’re in the process of finalizing a little fund to buy resi- dential homes in Pennsylvania for rent.

As far economic indicators are concerned, do you keep you eye on any particular one?

It’s setting expectations, managing expectations and picking your battles. If they have 10 things they want to win they’re just not going to get 10. You’re going to get some and the lender’s going to get some and most likely the lender is going to get more than the borrower. But you’ve got to pick your battles and you’ve got to hold your ground and you’ve got to know what’s important to you. We’re very good at knowing which lender has certain hot buttons and we’re very good at not being afraid to tell our customers when they’re wrong, when it’s just not going to happen. So, yeah, we manage a lot of expectations.

I

work with were the guys who sold $10 billion plus

of mezz and D notes in ’07 that would have sold in ’08 at prices significantly less than what we got in ’07. Everyone thought we were kind of nuts for sell- ing as quickly as we did in ’07. We sold things for 90 cents on the dollar in ’07 but three months later it was selling for 70 cents on the dollar. So I think we acted appropriately, we understood the risks that we had and we moved fast. We ran a very profitable business for a very long time. And we made our mis- takes. I admit we definitely made some mistakes, but we acknowledged them and we got through them as quickly as we could.

The amount of loans in special servicing and CMBS. That’s not really an economic indicator but that’s really the one thing that I look at to see how delin- quencies are going in CMBS. But we all look at unem- ployment, job growth, interest rates and inflation.

S TOLER THE REPORT Week of May 28, 2012: The Hospitality Market in New York

STOLER

THE REPORT Week of May 28, 2012: The Hospitality Market in New York City Matt
THE
REPORT
Week of May 28, 2012:
The Hospitality Market in New York City
Matt Adams
Sean Hennessey
Hyatt Hotels
Lodging Advisors
Mark Lanspa
Matthew Livian
Wells Fargo Bank
Sydell Group
Week of June 4, 2012
Real Estate Professionals Perspective on the Market
Joshua Muss
Norse Realty
Jeffrey Levine
Muss Development Michael Levine
Margolin, Weiner & Evens
Week of June 11, 2012
The Office Market in New York
Richard Bernstein
William Elder
Cassidy Turley
RXR Realty
Arthur Mirante
Brian Waterman
Avison Young
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Week of June 18, 2012
Solving the housing problem in Long Island
Tullio Bertoli
Town of Brookhaven Paul Pontieri
Christopher Capece AvalonBay
Communities
Michael Kelly
Town of Patchogue
Rose-Kelly Development
The Stoler Report-Real Estate & Business Trends airs
on CUNY TV, Channel 75 in NYC:
Tuesday: 2 AM, 11 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM, 2:30 PM & 10:30 PM
Friday: 5:30 AM
Saturday night: 12 Midnight
Sunday: 10:30 AM
BUILDING NEW YORK-NEW YORK LIFE STORIES
Week of May 28, 2012
Week of June 4, 2012
Week of June 11, 2012
Roscoe Brown
Claire Shulman
Dr. Robert Grossman
Building New York-New York Life Stories airs
on CUNY TV, Channel 75 in NYC:
Monday: 10:30 AM, 4:30 PM & 10:30 PM
Wednesday: 5:30 AM
Thursday: 11:30 PM
Saturday 12 Noon & 12:30 AM
Sunday: 6 PM
11:30 PM Saturday 12 Noon & 12:30 AM Sunday: 6 PM For additional information visit: www.stolerreport.com
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11:30 PM Saturday 12 Noon & 12:30 AM Sunday: 6 PM For additional information visit: www.stolerreport.com

For additional information visit:

www.stolerreport.com or www.michaelstoler.com

12 Noon & 12:30 AM Sunday: 6 PM For additional information visit: www.stolerreport.com or www.michaelstoler.com

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  Our picks for the month’s must-attend events June 2012 / Calendar
 

Our picks for the month’s must-attend events

June 2012 / Calendar

The Sked: June

ambitious construction projects and the people who planned, designed and built them. This year’s nominees are: John Jay College’s Criminal Justice Infrastructure project; the Court Square Subway Station Healthcare project; the Liberty Luxe/Liberty Green Education project; The Dream Hotel; and the Two Gotham Center Public Space.

 
  Greater New York Construction User Council 2012 Chairman’s Reception; the Related Companies’ MiMA building, 440

Greater New York Construction User Council 2012 Chairman’s Reception; the Related Companies’ MiMA building, 440 West 42nd Street, 6 p.m. Contact Joel Park at 212-450-7300 or email him at Jpark@bermangrp.com for more information or to register.

3-5

7

Chris Christie, the pugnacious governor of New Jersey, will interview NBC News’ chief White House cor- respondent Chuck Todd during what we’re certain will

A

group of New York City teen leader participants of the

14

 

nonprofit Girls Quest will get a bird’s eye view of the

city’s male-dominated real estate industry by spending

 

a

 

be one of many random but oddly compelling moments at New York University’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference this month. In another can’t-miss panel, Rebecca Jarvis, CBS News’ business and economics correspon- dent, interviews—and, hopefully, won’t confuse—the Related Companies’ Stephen Ross and Vornado Realty Trust’s similarly named real estate honcho Steven Roth. Two men enter, one man leaves.

34th Annual New York University International

day with the profession’s movers, shakers, brokers and leaders. Whole Foods Market, Tishman Construc- tion Group and Prudential Real Estate are just a few of the event’s sponsors.

New York Commercial Real Estate Women “Crew Careers: Building Opportunities” program; Extell Development’s International Gem Tower, 50 West 47th Street. Contact Linda Alexander at 212-247- 7940 or email her at Linda@alexandermktg. com for more information or to register.

Contact Linda Alexander at 212-247- 7940 or email her at Linda@alexandermktg. com for more information or

Comedic genius and Eastern Consolidated executive managing director David Schechtman will be honored when the March of Dimes hosts its 31st Annual Invita- tional Golf Tournament. Funds raised by the event help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, advocacy efforts and neonatal intensive care unit family support programs. Help the organization reach its tourna- ment goal of $150,000.

March of Dimes 31st Annual Invitational Golf Tournament; The Creek golf club, 1 Horse Hollow

Hospitality Industry Investment Conference; New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway. Visit www.scps.nyu. edu for more information or to register.

5

11-13

Seen through the prism of commercial mortgage-backed securities and balance sheet lending, syndicated col- umnist George Will discusses the most crucial issues

Road, Locust Valley, N.Y., 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Call 516-628-6265 for more information or to register.

21-22

The non-traded real estate investment trust industry continued its strong growth last year with a estimated

Looming federal tax initiatives will be dissected and analyzed by none other than Dean Zerbe, the national managing director of AlliantGroup and former senior council and tax counsel of the Senate Finance Commit- tee. Expect a no-nonsense discussion of current tax poli- cies and what to expect from Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, David McKelvey, a CPA at Friedman LLP, will weigh “Repairs vs. Capital Expenditures” with regard to the new temporary IRS regulations property owners are now being pressured to comply with.

facing commercial real estate this year. Co-chairs of this alway well-attended annual CRE Finance Council conference in Washington D.C. in- clude Keith Gollenberg of Oaktree Capital Managemetn; Richard Jones of Dechert LLP; Gregory Michaud of ING Invest- ment Management and John Mulligan of Fundcore Finance Group. Expect trem- ors across the Beltway.

CRE Finance Council annual conference;

$8.3 billion raised in new capital, 11 new product offer- ings and assets reaching approximately $84 billion. So it’s no surprise that the Information Manage- ment Network returns for its annual “New York Non-Traded REIT” symposium, a much- anticipated event that lures some of the field’s biggest names. Speakers will discuss key reg- ulation changes and strategies being buzzed about in this specialized market sector.

Information Management Network Ninth Annual

changes and strategies being buzzed about in this specialized market sector. Information Management Network Ninth Annual

The AlliantGroup’s “An Insider’s Look into Current Tax Policies” panel discussion; the Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Avenue, 8-9 a.m. Contact Stacey Reynolds at 212-842- 7649 for more information or to register.

6-7

Investment strategies, recapitalization and sourcing of debt and equity financing will be discussed when the well-respected think tank the Urban Land Institute hosts its Real Estate Capital Markets Conference. Fea- tured speakers include Jacques Gordon, a global strate- gist at LaSalle Investment Management, and Robert Mellman, the senior economist and managing director of JPMorgan Chase. Among New York real estate profes- sionals, however, names like Robert Ivanhoe, Robert Lieber and Ron Kravit might draw even more attention.

Urban Land Institute Real Estate Capital Markets Conference; Sentry Conference Centers, 730 Third Avenue. Visit www.uli.org or call 800-321-5011 for more information or to register.

JW Marriott Hotel, Washington, D.C. Visit www.crefc.org for more information or to register.

12

Join CoreNet Global for its Third Annual Women of CoreNet Global NYC Reception, presented by the Women’s Special Interest Group (SIG) and co-leaders Shelly Bloch, director of real estate at Skadden Arps, and Gayle Matthei-Meredith, chief marketing officer at Cassidy Turley. This year, the group will honor one as- yet unnamed woman for her contribution to New York’s real estate and finance industries.

CoreNet Global Network Women’s Special Interest Group networking event; Le Parker Meridien Penthouse, 119 West 56th Street. Visit www. corenetglobal.org for more information or to register.

The Greater New York Construction User Council will once again bestow honors on some of the state’s most

New York Non-Traded REIT Industry Symposium; Marriott Downtown, 85 West Street. Visit www.imn.org for more information or to register.

28-29

As many as 400 professionals from the interconnected worlds of banking, investing, special servicing, auction- eering and loan sales—and did we mention banking, an industry from which about 35 percent of attendees hail?—will descend on Atlanta for Off-Market RADAR’s and Information Management Network’s forum on Special Assets and Real Estate Workouts. Among a litany of confirmed guests, expect standout lectures from Wa- chovia structured transactions chief Thomas Deane and Berkadia Commercial Mortgage’s Michael Carp.

Off-Market RADAR-Information Management Network Southeast Bank/Financial Institutions Forum on Special Assets and Real Estate Workouts; Hyatt Regency, Atlanta. Email info@OffmarketRADAR.com for more information.

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty ImAGeS; HAnnAH mAttIx; RUSty CLARk; PRoPeRty SHARk; Anne-CHRIStIne PoUJoULAt/AFP/GettyImAGeS

Of Interest / June 2012

 

An index of all the people, places, addresses and companies mentioned in this issue

   
/ June 2012   An index of all the people, places, addresses and companies mentioned in
17,21
17,21
2
2
11
11
8
8
11
11

11

East 36th Street

10

Chandan, Sam

2, 16

H

Mayblum, Jonathan McKelvey, David MCR Development Mellman, Robert Melrose Credit Union

5

SL Green

2, 4, 14

11

East 51st Street

12

China International Capital Corp China Trust Bank Christie, Chris Cices, Simon

 

12

31

Sledge, Will Sovereign Bank Spinola, Steven SpringHill Suites Starrett City

8

118-120 South Second Street

10

Herald National Bank HFF HKS Capital Partners Holliday, Marc

Honstedt, Gary HSH Nordbank

HUD Hudson Terrace Hynes, Heidi

I

8

11

10

10

4

6

31

23

145

Spring Street

4

31

12

8, 12

1515

Broadway

2, 4

4

2

11

Mercantil Commercebank,

21

1535

Broadway

31

5

N

A

12

Starwood Stein, Joshua Stevens, David Stop & Shop Supermarkets Superior Bank

T

21

156-168 Bleecker Street

2 Sawgrass Drive

8

8

CIT Real Estate Finance Citizen’s Financial Group

Claremont Corporate Center 4

11

11

22, 23

Mercantil Servicios Financieros Meridian Capital Group MFA Financial

Michaud, Gregory Mikula, Jon Millenium BCP Bank Mission Capital Advisors Moishe’s Self Storage

12

2, 16

18

3 Colombus Circle

4

Cliffcrest Cohen, David Community Preservation Corporation Coop City CoreNet Global Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors Corus Bank Cotter, Joseph Cuomo, Andrew Custo Barcelona CVS Pharmacy CW Capital Asset Management CW Financial Services CWCapital

24, 27

8

10

11

312

(Ohm)

Eleventh Avenue

22

12

21

10

31

11

35

Ryerson Street

8

27

IndyMac Information Management Network ING Investment Management Integrated Resources Internal Revenue Code Investors Bancorp Investor’s Bank Iron Hound Management Co Ivanhoe, Robert

11

4

 

18

350

Park Avenue

8

21, 23

11

TCAP Associates The Bank of China The Dream Hotel The Greater New York Construction User Council The Lofts at Edgewater

Harbor The Mortgage Bankers Association

The Wharton School Tishman Construction Group Todd, Chuck Trammell Crow Trilogy Capital Troutman Sanders Two Gotham Center Two Trees Management Company

U

474

Broome Street

4

31

31

8

4

55

Gansevoort Street

6

8

31

555

West 53rd Street

8

31

Moreno, Vasco

18

31

(Mercedes House)

22

11

23

Morgan Stanley

18

600

Lexington Avenue

4

5

16

MTA

27

5

621

West 46th Street

8

23

11

Mulligan, John

31

938

St Nicholas Avenue

24

4

11, 14

N

18, 21

17

A

8

2, 28

National Resources

5

AlliantGroup

31

8

31

 

NCB

14

 

5

   

31

Alterra Capital American Property

22, 23

 

18

18

J

Jarvis, Rebecca

31

New York Community Bank 10 New York State Housing

22

31

18

Financing Anglo Irish Bank

11

D

JMC Holdings

8

Finance Agency North Fork Bank

11

5

Apple Bank Archetype Mortgage Capital Arcturus Group Ariel Property Advisors Astoria Federal Savings

14

Deane, Thomas Dechert LLP Dellwood Construction DelShah Capital Department of Housing Preservation and Development Deutsche Bank Dime Savings Bank

31

Jones, Richard

31

O

4

6

5

10

11, 14

31

27

6, 10

Joshua Stein PLLC

JPMorgan Chase

Justice 4 Homeowners

16

12, 14, 22, 31

24

K

Oaktree Capital

Management

O’Brien, Beth

Orso, Anthony

31

18

5

31

22

Bank Astoria Financial Corp Atlantis The Palm Auction com

11

24

Kaczynski, Michael Kapachi, Ayush Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Kerzner International Kerzner, Sol Klett, George

Kornblau, Steven Kostman, David

22

P

U S Department of Urban Housing and Urban Development 2, 21

5

14

6

Park Avenue Bank Parker, J D Pendergist, Jason Phipps Houses Group Piraino, Joseph Platt, Andrew Progressive Credit Union Proskauer Provident Bank Prudential Real Estate

R

11

18

18

18

UBS Financial Institution Group UHAB Unilever’s Research and Development University of Pennsylvania

 

B

 

of Williamsburgh DLA Piper Doral Bank

E

14

5

12

18

 

12

18

5

23

27

Bagatelle, David Bailey, Adam Leitman

24, 27

11

12

11

18

8

18

5

Bank Hapoalim Bank of America Bank of Ireland Bank of Smithtown Baydala, Terry Beck, Michael Bergman, Abe Berkadia Commerical Mortgage Berman, Michael Besen & Associates Bethpage Federal Credit Union Blackstone Bloch, Shelley Bloomberg, Michael Blum, Michael Braddish, Keith Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank

10, 11

27

Eastern Union Commerical Extell Developments

6

18

31

12

22

11

18

31

11

10

18

F

Fannie Mae

17, 21

Kravit, Ron Kuwait Investment

Authority

L

12

12

31

Urbane Land Institute US Bank

V

14

22

6

Federal Housing Finance Administration 17

Landmarks Preservation Commission LaSalle Investment Management LeggMason Lehman Brothers LePoisson Rougue Levine, Jeffrey Liberty Pointe Bank Lieber, Robert

6

Rakowicz, Emily

18

Van, Bobby Verrone, Rob Viacom

 

2, 28

Fincher, Ms First Central Savings Bank

27

Real Estate Board

2, 4

31

10

31

of

New York

18, 23

Villa Pacri Vornado Realty Trust

6

18

Flushing Savings Bank Freddie Mac Fremont Savings & Loan Friedman LLP Fundcore Finance Group Fusco, Cate

14

18

21, 22

10, 31

18

17, 21

28

Related Companies Richards, Driscilla Risk Building Risk, William Dr Ross, Stephen Rothstein, Michael

Royal Bank of Scotland RWN Real Estate Partners

18

W

 

8, 12

21

 

11

8

4

Wachovia

2, 22, 28

31

22

4

31

Walters, Wendell

27

31

24

31

11

Warba Bank

 

12

8

31

18

18

Warshavsky, Lee

27

4

G

Litwin,

Leonard

1 8

Washington Mutual

4, 8

Gaccione, Jason Galligan, Matt Garcia, Paulo Georgetown Law School Girls Quest

4, 8

Loeb & Loeb Loffman, Leslie Lucas, Charles

18

8

Washington

Trust

11, 12 8, 12 2, 22, 23

5

18

S

Wells

Fargo

11

11, 12

18

Santander Group

11

Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital West 57th Street

 
 

18

22

M

Santoro, Nicholas

12

2, 22

Bryan Cave LLP Burroughs, Carlton

24, 27

31

M&T Bank M&T Trust Madison Realty Capital Maje MarcAurele, Joseph March of Dimes Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Marriott Long Island Brookhaven Mathias, Andrew Matthei-Meredith, Gayle

6

Schechtman, David

31

11

C

Glenwood Management Gollenberg, Keith Gordon, Jacques Gotham Bank Gotham Organization Gotham West Grand Central Tower, East 42nd Street Greenock Capital GTIS Partners Gun Bar

18, 22

10

Scoggin Capital Real Estate 28

West End Development Corporation Whole Foods Market

8

31

Cantor Commerical Real Estate

 

31

10

Scorsese, Martin Senate Finance Committee Settlement Housing Shah, Michael Shapiro, Tom Shetler, Melissa Shkury, Shimon SHUHAB Signature Bank Skadden Arps

11

5

31

4

31

Wiener, Alan

2, 21, 22, 23

31

5

12

8

27

Canyon Capital Capital One Carp, Michael

6, 11, 14

31

2, 22, 23

 

21, 22

21

31

6, 10

18

Will, George

Wood, Burton

18

18

24

Z

Carter, Jimmy Cassidy Turley CBRE Capital Markets Debt & Equity Finance Chandan Economics

31

11

10

Zegen, Joshua

10

4

8, 12

27

Zerbe, Dean

 

31

4, 8

18

2

11

Zietara, Tim

12

17

6

31

31

Zlotowitz, Ira

6

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