MORRISTOWN, NJ-G.S. Wilcox, the mortgage firm based here, recently closed several loan transactions with a total value of $44 million. All of the funding was placed by the firm’s Gretchen Wilcox, David Fryer, John Taylor, Al Raymond and Joe Smerdon.

“Interest rates remain low, and financing activity has picked up,” according to Wilcox, the firm’s CEO. “Our corresponding life insurance company lenders are hungry for business and we’re seeing a loosening of underwriting standards.”

Two of the deals involved apartment financings. The first was for Rosedale Apartments in Madison, NJ, a $4.7 million, 15-year, self-liquidating loan provided by ING Investment Management. The second was a $4 million loan for a 40-unit complex in Westfield, NJ. The 10-year fixed-rate financing, which carries a 30-year amortization, was placed with a conduit. The borrowers were not disclosed.

The firm also placed permanent financing on a self-storage facility in Montville, NJ. The lender was ING Investment Management and the loan was structured to fund $5.35 million. The property was 70% occupied at closing and was underwritten to stabilize at 85% occupancy. Using this loan structure, the unnamed borrower “was able to lock in a long-term, fixed rate earlier than achievable with most self-storage lenders,” according to Wilcox. “The loan was placed with a 10-year fixed-rate term and 22-year amortization.

Also, a $4 million mortgage was provided to refinance a 75,000-sf, fully occupied office building in Piscataway, NJ. The 15-year self-liquidating loan was placed with a major tenant occupying 50% of the building, with lease expiration in 2003.

In the retail sector, a conduit lender provided a loan of $8.5 million for a 10-year term with a 30-year amortization for the Cedar Grove Shopping Center in Cedar Grove, NJ. The asset is a 70,677-sf neighborhood shopping complex anchored by Rite Aid and New York Sports Club. Other national tenants on the 25-tenant roster include Pepperidge Farms, Starbuck and First Union. Local tenants make up the rest of the list.

Also in the retail sector, the firm arranged a $3 million, 20-year self-liquidating loan for a non-anchored, 52,000-sf shopping center in New York City; and a $1.5 million, 20-year self-liquidating loan for a freestanding CVS store in Wanaque, NJ.

And in the industrial sector, Wilcox has closed loans totaling $12.775 million for five warehouse/industrial buildings in New Jersey. They include assets in Mahwah (37,400 sf), Paterson (79,000 sf), Mansfield (24,000 sf), Newark (182,000 sf), Totowa (74,600 sf) and Carlstadt (100,000 sf).

G.S. Wilcox & Co., the largest woman-owned mortgage banking firm in the US, is currently servicing more than $475 million of debt for its corresponding lenders.

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