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NEW YORK CITY-Atlanta-based Specialty Finance Group LLC, a subsidiary of the Bankers Bank, has closed a $62-million construction/mini perm loan to fund the development of a new Staybridge Suites hotel to be built in New York City’s Times Square district by 340-344 Realty LLC. Set to open in April 2009, the 32-story extended stay hotel will feature 310 studio suites. Each suite includes a fully equipped kitchen and a separate living and work space.

Harry Shah of Prime Time Capital & Management LLC, who served as financial advisor to 340-344 Realty LLC on the Staybridge Times Square project, tells GlobeSt.com that the total square footage of the hotel will be 132,000 sf. “The loan originated before the credit crisis but SFG stood by their commitment and funded the loan,” Shah explains to GlobeSt.com.

Greg Friedman, SVP of the specialty finance group at SFG, tells GlobeSt.com that the company encountered no material issues during the loan process. “Specialty Finance Group issued a commitment letter for this project under 90 days from the time that we initially received an executed term sheet,” he notes. “The loan officially closed 30 days after approval.”

Friedman explains that the resiliency of the New York lodging market as well as the strength of the sponsor and brand attracted SFG to the project. “There are very few extended stay properties in Manhattan and there was an immense need of the product,” he says. “The feasibility studies recommended an extended stay product and Staybridge was the right choice.”

The ground floor of the property features the hotel’s main entrance which faces West 40th Street and includes the hotel’s restaurant, bar and business center. The hotel’s cellar level houses a 1,000-sf meeting room, a library, a home theatre, and an exercise room. Floors two through 32 will contain 10 guest units each, eight king studios and two double/double studios.

More than 70% of the $1 billion which SFG anticipates lending to the hotel industry in 2007 will take the shape of construction/mini-perm loans to projects with top tier brands and development teams. “This is the largest Staybridge Suites Hotel in the US and the first in a major metropolitan city,” notes Sanjeev Mehta, managing member of 340-344 Realty LLC. “We were very impressed by the seamless decision making and quick turn around times at SFG for granting us this significant loan.”

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