MetLife Refinances Shorenstein Properties’ 850 Third Avenue

850 Third Avenue.

MetLife is providing Shorenstein Properties with a $170 million floating rate loan to refinance the San Francisco-based firm’s office property at 850 Third Avenue, originally known as the Western Publishing Building, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

The term of the loan will be for three years, according to MetLife, and will replace a $180 million loan provided by Deutsche Bank in 2010. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Live From Orlando: It’s the 2014 MBA CREF/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo

The MBA Super Bowl Bash

Hello dedicated readers, industry insiders and commercial real estate junkies.

We are reaching out from the Mortgage Bankers Association‘s 2014 CREF/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo in Orlando, Fla.

The four-day event kicked off last night at the Hyatt Regency Orlando hotel with several panels on the tumultuous FHA landscape and a lively Super Bowl party to cap off the night. (The Seattle Seahawks won their first Super Bowl title, defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8, for those who missed it.) 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

Mortgage Observer

MetLife’s Robert Merck Poised for Another Good Year as Competition Heats Up for Life Insurance Lenders

Robert Merck

Robert Merck is still trying to score his first hole in one in golf, he told Mortgage Observer one recent afternoon, half in jest. In addition to this more leisurely goal is another involving slightly higher stakes: to maintain MetLife’s position as the top life insurance lender in the U.S., while growing the company’s dealings overseas.

To that effect, 2013 has been a solid year for Mr. Merck, with several more multihundred-million-dollar deals under his belt. The senior managing director and head of MetLife’s real estate debt and equity businesses is on track to see his team’s origination performance meet or exceed 2012’s $9.6 billion as he spends his 31st year with the New York-based life insurance company. Read More