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NEW YORK CITY-Less than a month after opening its doors, commercial mortgage lender Bond Street Capital, CEO Barry P. Reiner, in an exclusive interview with GlobeSt.com, says that he has decided to base his operation in New York, and revealed that he is on the verge of choosing a managing director of real estate products for the firm.

High on the list of candidates for the post is Eli Hattem, former executive director and head of underwriting and securitization at CIBC, Reiner tells GlobeSt.com.

Though it is currently operating out of temporary offices at 99 Park Ave., Reiner says Bond Street’s base of operations definitely will be in New York.

“The headquarters will be in New York and that’s where I’ll spend most of my time,” Reiner tells GlobeSt.com. “All production will be overseen and processed in a centralized manner in New York.”

Despite its fledgling status and temporary housing, Bond Street already has major commitments on its books.

“We’re not soliciting business, but when word got out about what we were doing, we probably got about $150 million in business that I couldn’t say no to–partly because it was business that I could easily get done or it involved relationships that I didn’t want to turn away from,” Reiner says.

Reiner’s concept for Bond Street rests on developing a nationwide system of branch offices dedicated exclusively to commercial mortgage lending. Investment banks, he believes, “are not the most logical players to originate mortgages. Most have been de-emphasizing the mortgage origination side of the business and relying on third party companies like Bond Street to originate loans for them.”

He has contracted Rainmaker Financial Affiliates, a network of mortgage brokers, to develop and manage the branch offices, with initial openings scheduled for late this year.

“By year-end we’ll have 20 locations in place,” Reiner says. “By the middle of next year that will probably grow to about 40.”

Reiner believes the firm’s branch-office style of lending will succeed because borrowers would rather deal with people than with institutions.

“We will have the Bond Street flag in every major market in the US,” he says. “So, we’ll have a local guy on the ground as opposed to somebody calling an 800 number and dealing with a big black hole, where they don’t have a relationship with the person and they don’t know who they’re dealing with.”

Reiner is still in the process of selecting brokers to manage the network of Bond Street branches, though he says there is no shortage of candidates.

“There’s been tremendous interest on the part of the potential origination offices that we’ve spoken to,” he says. “We literally have 100 people to go to.”

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