GFI Realty Brokers Investors Loan for Hamilton Heights Acquisitions

106-108 Convent Avenue.

Florida-based investor and insurance lawyer Alan Marcus completed his purchase of two Upper Manhattan rental properties from Sugar Hill Capital Partners for $35.5 million with a $22.3 million acquisition loan from Investors Bank, Commercial Observer has learned.

Roni Abudi, managing director of investment sales at GFI Realty Services, represented the buyer and the seller and brokered the first mortgage from Investors, according to a representative for GFI Realty. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Zlot Machine

Ira Zlotowitz

Mortgage Observer first met Ira Zlotowitz, the frenetic leader of Eastern Union Funding, last spring at the International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Las Vegas. He gave us, as he generally does any new contact, his business card: a $2 bill.

Later that evening when we needed to tip after a generous glass of wine had been provided us, we gave the $2 bill to a suitably impressed bartender. A memory of Ira was emblazoned in our brain. The shtick—literally handing out money, so that he can later source more for you—works. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Williamsburg Rental Project, 10 Years in the Making, Gets Takeout Loan

64 Bayard Street

Witold Brend of Brend Development Corporation, the owner of a 53-unit Williamsburg luxury rental development, has secured a $26.5 million permanent take-out loan against the newly minted building, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned. 64 Bayard Street, which sits just off McCarren Park, hit the market last December.

The 53 units, which include six penthouses, are fully occupied, said a source close to the deal. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Williamsburg Rental, Seven Years Stalled, Scores $21M Take-out Loan

210 North 12th Street

A once-stalled Williamsburg rental project that made an auspicious turn-around last year has received a $21 million take-out loan—a capstone on a successful project, as a developer can free up cash and lock in a lower interest rate than on a construction loan. Eastern Union Funding brokered the new loan with Investors Bank.

The eight-story, 42-unit residential building, at 210 North 12th Street, had been underway since 2007, but construction didn’t actually begin until summer of 2013. This was likely due to environmental concerns with the brownfield status of the North Williamsburg plot, prior reports show.  Read More


Sheepshead Commercial Building Hits Market at $12M

1926 Avenue U.

The four-level, 18,600-square-foot commercial building at 1926 Avenue U has been listed for sale at $12 million, Commercial Observer has learned. The Sheepshead Bay property is located between Ocean Avenue and East 19th Street.

The building’s 17,280 rentable square feet, ranging from the basement and ground-level retail to two spaces on both the second and third floors, are currently occupied with the exception of one 2,200-square-foot space on the third floor, according to a marketing brochure from GFI Realty Services, which has been named the exclusive sales agent for the property. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Eastern Union Brokers $46M Revolving Construction Facility For NJ Townhomes

A rendering of The Avery

New Jersey-based residential developer Weiss Properties received a $46.6 million revolving construction loan for The Avery, a townhome community located at 10 Lincoln Square in Willingboro, N.J., Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

Shaya Ackerman of Eastern Union Funding brokered the $40 million construction construction facility, which features a $6.6 million earn-out, from Investors Bank, confirmed Joseph Orefice, head of commercial real estate lending at the bank.  Read More


Commercial Real Estate Lenders Reaching, or Exceeding, 2013 Expectations


December is typically a time when real estate leaders, especially the bankers who provide financing for commercial real estate transactions, allocate many evenings to attend year-end holiday parties.

One of the questions on the minds of many in attendance at these elaborate events this year will no doubt be whether the financial institutions have reached or exceeded their goals in providing funding for real estate transactions. One thing is certain: CMBS investment bankers have exceeded last year’s output, yet it is not certain if the Wall Street shops will reach a $100 billion in gross lending. There are also the traditional savings and commercial banks, mortgage REITs, private equity funds and insurance companies, as well as new players in town who joined and/or increased their volume of financing this year.

Read More


Many Lenders Offering Low Rates for Multifamily


It seems like the perfect storm: investors are paying record prices to acquire residential rental apartments in metropolitan areas. And at the same time, financial institutions—especially regional and local commercial and savings banks—are offering the lowest rates for long-term financing for this asset class. Ramping up the competition, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, insurance companies, CMBS and conduits are all offering borrowers low rates, with terms we have not experienced in decades. Read More

Mortgage Observer

New Jersey Lenders Locked in Competition for Multifamily Assignments

NJ Multifamily Harvest

The Garden State has become fertile ground for developers, and commercial real estate lenders both large and small are looking to get in on the action, while others are looking to retain and expand the market share they already have.

Competition among lenders is quickly growing as more people look to rent in New Jersey, the most urbanized state in the country, 94.7 percent of whose population is centered in urban areas, according to 2010 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. That abundance of multifamily properties just west of the Hudson River coincides with university expansions, new retail and office properties and other large real estate projects throughout the state. 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 Observer

Competition Hot in Multifamily


Record-low mortgage rates have helped to fuel the nation’s refinancing activity for residential homes. In July, the number of mortgage applications filed hit a three-year high. Freddie Mac also reported that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.49 percent for the week ending July 26.

Likewise, attractive rates are fueling financing in the multifamily market, where financing for low-leveraged rental buildings has reached its lowest levels in decades. The result? Fierce competition among lenders looking to provide financing for the asset class, particularly in the Big Apple. Read More