January 2017

Industrial Bridge Loan Trends

Bloomfield Capital is a direct lender with a strong history of originating commercial real estate bridge loans on industrial properties nationwide. The firm has recently completed bridge financing for a number of industrial properties across the central and eastern states.  Below are several industrial transactions that the firm completed in 2016.

Toledo Warehouse/Distribution Funding. In August 2016, Bloomfield Capital closed on a $5.4 million senior bridge loan.  The loan proceeds were used to purchase a warehouse/distribution property located in Toledo, Ohio. Toledo’s industrial market remains strong, driven primarily by Toledo’s interstate access and centralized location.  As of Q3 2016, Toledo’s vacancy rate has decreased to 4.8%, down from 5.1% in the previous quarter. In addition, Toledo experienced net absorption of 390,554 square feet over the quarter.  Quoted rental rates decreased only slightly, down to $3.30 from $3.34 in the previous quarter.

Knoxville Mixed-Use Industrial Funding. In June 2016, Bloomfield Capital closed on a $2.0 million senior bridge loan.  The loan proceeds were used to refinance and renovate a historic mixed-use industrial property located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Bloomfield’s funds allowed the Sponsor to refinance the existing mortgage which had matured, and provided the capital necessary to begin renovating the property for new tenants. Knoxville has seen a recent spike in historic renovations and the adaptive re-use of older industrial buildings. East Tennessee office vacancy rates are hovering around 7.0% and no large deliveries of office space are planned for the Knoxville market.  This, combined with Class B space being absorbed by new businesses, is creating a strong market for affordable and flexible office space in the metro Knoxville area.

Senior Bridge Loan Secured by 2 Industrial Buildings. In May 2016, Bloomfield Capital closed on a $5.4 million senior bridge loan. The loan proceeds were used to both refinance the existing debt on an industrial property located in northwest Mississippi and to acquire and redevelop an industrial property located in Lansing, Michigan. As the economy recovers, a number of investors are taking advantage of tightening markets where existing industrial assets can be renovated and repositioned at a fraction of the time and cost that it would require for new construction.

The team at Bloomfield Capital is known for our ability to successfully invest in commercial real estate through the origination of first lien bridge loans and the direct acquisitions of other types of collateralized real estate obligations – whether in the Midwest or in markets throughout the nation.

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November 2016

Avoid 3 Commercial Bridge Loan Mistakes

Yes, the cost of money for a bridge loan is higher than what is offered by a conventional lender. In a typical bridge loan transaction, borrowers will pay a premium for certainty of execution and speed; two things that traditional banks are not known for.  Bloomfield Capital and other bridge lenders fill a very important niche roll within the commercial real estate industry by providing capital that conventional lenders are simply not able to fill in a timely fashion.

Focus on more than just the interest rate, look at term and points. With respect to points, the borrower needs to find out the true cost of a bridge loan by adding up all the fees that are being charged. A higher interest rate may be quoted, but expedited due diligence reports and limited pre-payment can often make up for the higher initial cost of the capital. Bloomfield Capital’s typical loan scenarios include an interest rate range of 9%-11% for a maximum term of 18 months and 2%-6% points net funded. It’s important to remember that no two bridge lenders are exactly the same, and borrowers should fully vet out each potential lender they anticipate using. Though many claim to be direct capital sources, always verify sources of funds and recently closed deals with both borrowers and brokers that have recently transacted with the lender.

Provide the bridge lender with the story. Often times, the story is as important as the typical due diligence items such as tax returns, financial statements and credit scores. While conventional lenders typically have a “check the box” loan process, a bridge lender takes many things into consideration when underwriting a new transaction. Bloomfield Capital looks at the entire situation surrounding the asset, including cash flow, imputed equity, debt yield and LTV. Some borrowers are afflicted with low credit scores, a prior bankruptcy, or pending foreclosure, however with the right explanation, a bridge lender might consider the request. The right collateral might be able to help ameliorate any concerns with sponsor credit or liquidity.

Have an exit strategy.  A sponsor should consider how much time he has to pay back the loan and plan accordingly. The ability to secure a real estate bridge loan often times depends on the exit strategy. Bridge loans are short-term, interest only, and often times have a balloon payment due at the end of the loan term. A sponsor should focus on the exit strategy because without a well-planned takeout strategy, bridge lenders may decide to pass on the opportunity to fund and focus on opportunities where they know sponsors have a takeout plan in place.

Private money can creatively help urgent deals close quickly, and by avoiding the mistakes outlined above, sponsors will be able to utilize bridge financing to close fast moving transactions that would have otherwise been missed.

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