Mortgage Observer

A World Without Fannie and Freddie?

Fannie Mae Headquarters

A proposed Senate bill that seeks to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the next five years, revealed last month, would preserve their multifamily lending businesses under a new entity and maintain a government guarantee for the multifamily lending market, commercial lenders and brokers told Mortgage Observer.

The bill, announced by Senators Tim Johnson and Mike Crapo on March 11, focuses on the dissolution of the firms’ single-family residential mortgage business, a market that the government-sponsored entities continue to dominate six years after the beginning of the financial crisis. It also creates a provision that would spin off the companies’ multifamily businesses and establish new independent businesses within a year of the bill’s passage. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Whopper of a Deal

HFF secured a $65 million loan for 99 Burger King properties

“Have it your way” might be what HFF brokers said when Jaylor Services secured a $65 million, ten-year, fixed-rate, non-recourse loan for a slew of Burger King properties across the nation.

HFF represented the borrowers, a management company that operates single-tenant restaurant companies, according to a statement from HFF. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Flushing Commons Developers to Close $300M Financing Brokered by HFF

Flushing Commons. (Credit: Perkins Eastman)

The developers behind the long-stalled Flushing Commons project are about to sign off on about $300 million in debt and equity financing for phase one of the mixed-use Queens complex.

The partnership between Flushing-based TDC Development and Construction Corporation, AECOM Capital, the Rockefeller Group and Mount Kellett Capital Management is getting ready to close a roughly $225 million loan from Starwood Property Trust and a $75 million equity investment from the developers, a person familiar with the negotiations told Mortgage Observer on background. Both deals are expected to close at the end of the month, that person said. Read More

Power Broker

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Andrew Scandalios Makes HFF a Contender

Andrew Scandalios, senior managing director at HFF. (Credit: Elizabeth Graham)

With competitors like CBRE and Eastdil Secured seemingly closing deals on high-quality institutional assets every week, HFF’s New York office could be forgiven for operating with an inferiority complex when it comes to the Big Apple’s investment sales market. But in a testament to the firm’s commitment to steady growth, the Houston, Texas-based real estate firm is slowly but surely catching up to its more high-profile competition in the city.

Since closing just $700 million in regional business in 2010, $400 million of which was in New York City, HFF’s investment sales group has grown by nearly 200 percent, to $1.2 billion of business in the New York market last year.

At the head of it all is Andrew Scandalios, the senior managing director and newly minted co-head of HFF’s New York office, who is keen to see the business continue to grow. Read More

Sales Beat

The Grayson in Kips Bay Sells for $100M

A rendering of The Grayson's renovated lounge

RWN Real Estate Partners and Silverstone Property Group have announced the sale of The Grayson, a 17-story, 128-unit residential building located at 247 East 28th Street in Kips Bay, for $99.75 million.

Martin Nussbaum, principal and co-founder of Silverstone and Ari Shalam, managing partner of RWN, originally purchased The Grayson for $53 Million in February 2012. Read More

Mortgage Observer

HFF’s New York Office Still in Growth Mode as Michael Tepedino Begins His Seventh Year at the Helm

Mike Tepedino (Photo by Michael Nagle)

When HFF’s New York office negotiated its first major deal in 1998, Michael Tepedino, a recently hired broker at the time, and his colleagues called on Cigna, an “old-line relationship” that one of them knew on the life insurance side of the business.

The borrower, SL Green Realty Corp., was by no means desperate to find a lender. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Life Companies Are Back and Strategically Competing Against Big Banks. Here’s How.

Illustration by Thomas Pitilli.

It’s easy to see why life companies continue to plow money into commercial and multifamily real estate mortgages: They have provided strong returns, inflicted virtually no losses and match up perfectly with their long-term liabilities.

“Mortgages have proven to be really good, solid investments for life companies,” said Robert Merck, head of real estate investors for MetLife, the top life insurer in this space and the subject of a longer profile in this month’s Mortgage Observer. Read More

The Lobby

HFF Announces Resignation of John Pelusi

Mr. Pelusi

Just a day after announcing a promotion in the company’s New York office, Pittsburgh-based HFF today said John Pelusi has resigned as chief executive officer and vice chairman of the company effective April 1, 2014.

Mr. Pelusi, a founding member of the real estate firm, will also vacate his position as managing member of operating partnerships, according to the company’s announcement.

Read More

Mortgage Observer

NYCB Provides $85 Million Refinancing for Long Island Shopping Center


New York Community Bank has provided an $85 million loan for Roosevelt Raceway Center, a 428,395-square-foot shopping center in Westbury, Long Island, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

HFF arranged the 12-year loan on behalf of the property’s owners, a joint venture between the Mattone Group and Gartenstein Properties, to refinance an existing first mortgage also provided by NYCB. The new loan, which closed on Oct. 30, carries a fixed “market rate of interest” for the first seven years, according to an NYCB spokesperson. “NYCB is pleased with the asset, its location and the sponsor,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a major power center in our market.” Read More

Mortgage Observer

Q&A: Peter Nicoletti, Managing Director and Global Loan Sales Leader at Jones Lang LaSalle

Peter Nicoletti

Mortgage Observer met with Mr. Nicoletti, a 25-year real estate veteran who has worked in multiple areas of the business from arranging big loans for commercial developments to helping clients restructure and sell their distressed real estate assets. The global loan sales leader at Jones Lang LaSalle spoke about his professional experiences in the States and overseas, as well as the level of growth opportunities in the U.S. commercial real estate market as 2014 approaches. Read More

New Developments

West Side Residential Site on the Market


A 20,083-square-foot residential development site at 505-511 West 43rd Street is being marketed by HFF. The marketing team for the site is seeking approximately $300 per buildable square foot, or nearly $50 million.

The site, located between 10th and 11th Avenues, can accommodate 160,664 square feet of zoning floor area and 190 residential units but is complicated by its location above an active Amtrak rail line. As a result, potential development will require two special permits, to be obtained through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. Read More

New Developments

Chelsea Development Site on the Market


HFF is marketing a 7,583-square-foot development site at 140-144 West 28th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Chelsea. The site, which includes up to 144,876 square feet of development rights, is zoned for commercial use and is being marketed toward hotel developers.

“There are some investors thinking about the site for residential and it’s significantly more valuable as residential, but the highest and best use is as a hotel since it’s zoned for commercial use,” Andrew Scandalios, senior managing director, told The Commercial Observer. Read More