New York Lender Provides $235M for Elser Condo Refi


A New York lender announced that it closed a $235 million refinancing for the newly built Elser Hotel & Residences in Downtown Miami.

The lender is Franklin BSP Realty Trust (FBRT), a publicly traded real estate investment trust specializing in commercial real estate debt. It was formerly known as Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust.

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The Elser Hotel & Residences is a 49-story, 646-unit condominium hotel at 398 NE Fifth Street. The project was developed by Property Markets Group and Toronto-based real estate private equity firm Greybrook.

Unit prices start at $600,000. Furnished residences range from 400-square-foot studios to 1,300-square-foot units with three bedrooms. The property lets owners enter a short-term rental program with daily rental options.

“Our financing of The Elser is an example of the strategic investing that FBRT is proactively seeking while the market for traditional, transitional rental properties goes through a repricing exercise,” Michael Comparato, head of commercial real estate for the lender, said in a statement. “Our flexible balance sheet affords us the ability to take advantage of unique opportunities in the current market.”

Property Markets Group also is developing the Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami and E11EVEN Hotel & Residences in Downtown Miami.

First United Methodist Church of Miami sold the property, which fronts Biscayne Boulevard, to Property Markets Group for $55 million in 2018. The developer originally planned an apartment project and in 2019 borrowed $120 million for the site.

Jeff Ostrowski can be reached at