BOSTON-One of the country’s top private real estate investment banks now has an office in the Hub. Sonnenblick Goldman has taken up shop at 2 International Place, retaining managing director and principal Richard Swartz to oversee the local operation.

“We’re excited to be on the ground in this market and to be able to work closely with our existing clients, and hopefully we’ll be able to serve some new ones as well,” Swartz tells The commercial real estate veteran will not need any help getting around the city’s Financial District, having spent 14 years in Boston during the 1980s and 1990s before heading to Gotham for a stretch with APC Realty Advisors prior to joining Sonnenblick in 2003.

During his time in the Bay State, Swartz held positions at the Boston Co., Property Capital Advisors and TCW Realty Advisors. “With Rick’s previous experience in the Boston area and his extensive knowledge of the local and national markets, Sonnenblick Goldman is sure to have tremendous success in Boston,” company president Steven Kohn says in announcing the new office. Swartz says the firm will entertain deals of varying size and scope, as well as most product types. “I would say right now that office is probably the hottest, but we like retail quite a bit, too,” says Swartz in assessing the region. “Retail is always strong in New England.”

Sonnenblick Goldman’s slate of existing business locally is diverse and features such Cambridge transactions as $180 million in acquisition financing for One Kendall Square and $85 million in equity financing for Watermark, a 350-unit luxury apartment building. The investment bank also secured $64 million in senior and mezzanine financing of Ledgemont Center, a 375,000-sf office/research complex in Lexington provided for the Beal Companies. Sonnenblick Goldman also helped Angelo Gordon & Co. on the sale/leaseback of 21-29 Great Republic Way in Gloucester.

Given the company’s track record, it would seem Sonnenblick Goldman would be able to participate in virtually any opportunity that might come through its new office. The firm, for example, was recently honored with Real Estate Forum Magazine’s 2006 Finance Deal of the Year following the recapitalization of 485 Lexington Ave. in Midtown Manhattan.

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