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MIAMI-Fort Lauderdale-based Levitt Cos., which develops, constructs, finances and manages commercial real estate, has formed the Levitt Realty & Finance division. The new group specializes in acquiring and financing commercial real estate that is owned, controlled or occupied by investment-grade public companies nationwide.

The division is looking to purchase the properties and ultimately lease them back to the sellers. This allows the corporations to maintain control over the property’s use, operations and maintenance, while benefiting from the added liquidity on their balance sheets.

In addition, Levitt Realty & Finance will facilitate short-term loans nationally to non-affiliated entities secured by single-tenant commercial real estate leased long-term to investment-grade public companies. Additionally, the finance division will facilitate credit facilities to fund corporate-sponsored real estate loans. Under this program, corporate sponsors receive funding for the value of underlying real estate, for their nationwide franchisees and subsidiaries, and for their product and service providers. The division will also facilitate loans to assist in 1031 exchange transactions.

Thomas Dujanovic, who has more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate, has been appointed president of Levitt Realty & Finance. Levitt Cos. is a wholly owned subsidiary of BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc.

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