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FRISCO, TX-Hall Financial Group is making a play for resorts, hotels, condos, second-home properties and land in Costa Rica and the Caribbean. The structured finance lender has issued six letters of intent to get the ball rolling on a plan to spend at least $100 million in financing and joint venture development deals.

“Clearly, $100 million would be available easily for us to invest on an ongoing basis,” Donald Braun, president of the locally based Hall Financial Group, tells GlobeSt.com. He says the capital, all generated internally, targets properties of all sizes in the three-, four- and five-star categories, predominately waterfront, in excess of $10 million, flagged and un-flagged. It’s the first time that Hall’s structured finance platform has been taken outside the US.

In the past three years, Hall has originated $200 million in structured financing, of which 75% went to the hotel sector. The level of capital to finance hotel properties in the US is on the rise, Braun says.

“We have seen opportunities in the past and mulled them over,” Braun says about Central America and the Caribbean. “We took a real hard look at it and came to the conclusion there was real opportunities there.” He stresses the structured finance program is still available for first mortgage and mezzanine funding for US hotels, but is being expanded to “fill in” markets where competition isn’t as stiff, specifically locations on the travel circuit of European, American and South American tourists and second-home buyers.

According to Braun, six letters of intent have been placed against Caribbean properties, all with extra developable land. “We are expanding to open up structured finance for joint venture development,” he says. The initial wish list includes two resorts and one land play.

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