Jonathan Firestone, Stephen Somer, Adam Edwards and James Muhlfeld

Jonathan Firestone and James Muhlfeld

Managing directors at Eastdil Secured

Jonathan Firestone, Stephen Somer, Adam Edwards and James Muhlfeld
By September 18, 2023 9:00 AM

The special synergy between real estate expertise and capital markets continues to put Eastdil Secured a notch above the rest in the debt and equity and investment sales space.

Jonathan Firestone and James Muhlfeld’s intelligence-
driven approach has been key to their success in the West Coast post-pandemic market. Their practice over the past year has focused on industrial, multifamily and data center transactions.

From their desks in Los Angeles, the two are responsible for $8 billion in financings year-to-date. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone else “in that zone,” Firestone said.

He led the team that helped Rick Caruso secure a $450 million loan this summer to refinance the famous Glendale shopping center, Americana at Brand. Sales per square foot are “off the charts,” Firestone said.

Muhlfeld, who has been with Eastdil since 2007, led the advisory team that closed on $330 million in construction financing for Blackstone’s industrial project in Fontana, Calif., earlier this year. It was the largest of several industrial construction loans he helped bring to the finish line throughout California and in Seattle.

“Industrial fundamentals remain extremely strong, and Los Angeles is the epicenter of the industrial business,” Muhlfeld said.

Muhlfeld also led Eastdil’s advisory team in securing $1 billion in financing for the capitalization of TPG Real Estate’s data center joint venture with Digital Realty Trust, bolstering his expertise in data center and industrial portfolios.

Eastdil also remains a heavy hitter in studio financing, despite the challenges the sector is currently experiencing with cash flow. “Everyone still loves to invest in studios, but it seems that the bigger players are taking up the majority of the market share,” Firestone said.

Since joining Eastdil in 2001, Firestone has been involved in negotiations for a staggering $155 billion in real estate financing, focusing primarily on studio, hotel, cold storage, life sciences and office transactions.

He was a key behind-the-scenes player in the capitalization of Burbank Media Studios ahead of the high-
profile transfer of the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank earlier this month, launching a major studio entertainment campus project sponsored by Worthe Real Estate President Jeff Worthe. The multi-stage transaction included a $621 million construction loan and $325 million of preferred equity investment, Firestone said.

The deal “just speaks to the strength of the sector,” Firestone said.