Mortgage Observer

Doral Bank Bets on Senegal

Senegal flag

Manhattan below 96th Street has not been home to much in the way of multifamily development of late, as high land prices have pushed out most non-condominium development in prime areas.

That—and other facts—make the $42.5 million non-recourse construction loan that the developers of luxury rental building 227 East 44th Street just received all the more interesting. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Bauhouse Group Obtains Construction Financing for Chelsea Development

Existing Warehouse Building at 515 West 29th Street.

The New York-based real estate development and investment firm The Bauhouse Group received a $35 million construction loan from Doral Bank to fund the development of a luxury condominium and retail building at 515 West 29th Street near Manhattan’s High Line, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

Mark Wolfson of Wolfson Capital arranged the 30-month construction loan, which carries an interest rate of 6 percent, as well as prior acquisition financing from Puerto Rico-based Doral. The construction loan closed last week. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Terra Capital’s Bruce Batkin: An Exit Strategy for Every Loan

Bruce Batkin. (Eric van den Brulle)

Bruce Batkin and his colleagues at Terra Capital Partners are “not loan to own,” the seasoned mezzanine lender says emphatically, using the industry-speak for firms that lend with the hope of taking control of a property. In fact, the 61-year-old Harvard Business School graduate and the company are the exact opposite. They have never once witnessed a borrower fail to make a payment on time.

“It’s always gratifying to get up in front of investors and reporters and say, ‘We’ve never had a monetary default,’” Mr. Batkin, the firm’s co-founder and chief executive, tells Mortgage Observer on a June evening in his Midtown office. “How many people can say that having financed close to 300 properties? We’re driven by the maintenance of a reputation that’s unblemished to date.” Read More

Mortgage Observer

In Development


Doug Stern had a real estate dream. In his early 40s, after years in private equity and managing his family’s commercial real estate properties, he longed for a career change and a development project on his own. His mission became clear in Bayonne, N.J., where, he said, he fell in love with the former headquarters of the intimate apparel company Maidenform. Located two blocks from the Hudson-Bergen light rail 22nd Street station, the four-story, 94,000-square-foot brick complex—over 100 years old—was familiar to generations of Bayonne residents, many of whom had worked there until the company moved to Iselin, N.J. in 2007. Mr. Stern saw the potential for the historic, vacant property into a Brooklyn-style 99-unit residential building.

Although he could buy the building, he figured that he needed upward of $20 million in construction financing to redevelop it. Read More

Mortgage Beat

Funding for Nazarian Hotel Development Revealed

444 Park Avenue South.

L.A. nightclub and hotel guru Sam Nazarian has set his sights on the Midtown South submarket. As the Wall Street Journal reported recently, Mr. Nazarian will develop a boutique hotel at 444 Park Avenue South, along with his partner, New York-based Moin Development Corp.

Now The Mortgage Observer has learned that the financing for the project was arranged by HKS Capital Partners, in a mix of two types of financings—one of which, an EB-5, was a first for the firm. Read More