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.

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Mortgage Observer

Halpern Real Estate Ventures Receives $26 Million Loan for Lower East Side Rental Development

Rendering of 331 East Houston Street

Sovereign Bank has provided a $26.1 million construction loan for Halpern Real Estate Ventures’ 80/20 multifamily building in the works at 331 East Houston Street, Jon Halpern, chief executive and managing director of the boutique real estate investment and operating firm, told Mortgage Observer.

The construction loan came with a term of three to four years and a floating interest rate tied to Libor, Mr. Halpern said. The loan was arranged by Richard Horowitz of Cooper-Horowitz and closed shortly after Labor Day. Read More

Sales Beat

Auction Date for 251 Park Avenue South Postponed Until October


The auction to settle a dispute over 251 Park Avenue South, which is jointly owned by F.M. Ring Associates and Extell Development, has been postponed until October 9. The fate of the building had previously been set to be decided on August 28.

“A typical reason [for the postponement] would be that the parties are having settlement negotiations,” Joshua Stein, court appointed referee, told The Commercial Observer, adding he had no specific knowledge of the reason for the postponement, which was first reported earlier this week by the New York Post. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Cartier! Versace! Vuitton! Financing Next Gen at Crown’s Ritzy Retail Focus

Chera brothers.

One day in the late 1980s, three Brooklyn brothers in their teens—Isaac, Haim and Richard Chera—followed their grandfather, Isaac, and their father, Stanley, on a trip to Manhattan. While not in school, the brothers would spend much of their spare time in the Fulton Street children’s clothing store that their grandfather had opened in 1948, in a space formerly occupied by a hat store, Suzette Millinery Shop. At the time, lacking the money to replace the previous banner, Isaac Chera simply tweaked it, naming his business Suzette Kiddie Store. Only later, after having expanded to several other stores, did the family change the name to Young World. Soon, the elder Isaac Chera started to invest in real estate. The best advice he gave to his family, according to his grandson, Haim, was to always buy the building where they had a store. 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

Sales Beat

Santander Unloads 45 East 53rd Street for $120M


Spanish banking giant Santander has sold 45 East 53rd Street in Midtown for $120 million, city records show.

The 130,000-square-foot, 20-story modern glass and stone building serves as the bank’s New York headquarters.

Alex Kurkin, an attorney with Florida-based law firm Kurkin Forehand Brandes, signed off on the deed for the buyer, which was listed as Kireland East 53rd Street New York, LLC in city documents. Read More

The Lobby

People’s United Bank Snags Costa from Sovereign


On the heels of its announcement last week that it had completed the acquisition of 57 New York City area branch locations, Bridgeport, Conn.-based People’s United Bank has hired John Costa to head up its New York commercial real estate lending operations, sources told The Mortgage Observer.

Mr. Costa, who couldn’t be reached for comment, Read More