Adam Schwartz, Aaron Appel, Jonathan Schwartz and Keith Kurland
Co-Head of New York Capital Markets; Senior Managing Director & Co-Head NY Capital Markets; Co-Head of New York Capital Markets; and Senior Managing Director at Walker & Dunlop
Last year's rank: 25
Walker & Dunlop sourced $7.4 billion of debt and equity deals across a number of property sectors between March 2022 and March 2023 amid major market changes, most of them unwelcomed.
The brokerage adjusted to the rising interest rate environment with many banks on the sidelines to source deals with alternative lenders like insurance companies, debt funds and mortgage REITs while still aiming for the best terms.
“A lot of our focus has been on who was going to actually send us a term sheet and then close on that term sheet as opposed to maybe who has the cheapest rate,” Jonathan Schwartz said. “We want to make sure that whoever we’re jumping into bed with, we make sure that at the end of the day we have a solution to a deal.”
W&D was involved in a variety of asset classes in the past year with a big focus on hospitality, industrial and film studios. It also remained active in the office sector with nearly $2 billion of loans executed last summer alone.
The largest deal arranged by W&D in the last year involved a $712.7 million loan from JPMorgan Chase for OKO Group and Cain International’s Aman New York luxury hotel and condominium project. The three-year financing featured a bridge loan and condo inventory loan.
W&D also placed a $385 million construction financing package for Naftali Group’s 470 Kent multifamily development in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that featured a $310 million senior loan from Bank OZK and a $75 million mezzanine loan from Barings. The brokerage also structured an $87 million limited partner equity investment from Access Industries as part of the transaction.
On the office sector front, W&D brokered a $385 million refinancing loan from JPMorgan Chase on 452 Fifth Avenue for PBC USA to retire existing debt and fund capital expenditures as well as leasing costs. The financing came on the heels of a deal for PBC to sell the tower to Innovo Property Group falling through when anchor tenant HSBC said it wouldn’t renew its lease that expires in 2025.
“Despite the negative headwinds in the office market, there’s a subset of office assets that are performing very strongly and can still attract capital, and we certainly feel like that asset fits into that category,” Aaron Appel said. —A.C.