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NEW YORK CITY-Locally based North River Investment Management LLC has launched its first commercial real estate private equity fund, North River Opportunity Partners I LP, with $100 million of committed capital. The fund will pursue investment strategies designed to capitalize on opportunities created by turmoil in the global credit markets.

Initially, the fund will buy discounted pools of commercial mortgage debt and originate first mortgage and mezzanine loans on high-quality commercial real estate properties. “We raised the fund to take advantage of the realignment of risk and reward going on now in the commercial real estate debt markets,” Jonathan Kaye, co-founder of North River, tells GlobeSt.com. “We believed that if we could get a business started in this environment, it would benefit from deploying fresh capital at a time in the cycle when scarcity of financing allowed the highest returns for the lowest of risk levels.”

Kaye continues that “to seize these opportunities, we have devised a strategy that is flexible enough to allow us to either acquire or originate quality commercial real estate-oriented financial assets, while actively enhancing the value of those assets. We view this as the first step in creating a long term platform for investment in the commercial real estate capital markets.”

Kaye tells GlobeSt.com that the fund, which has an eight-year term, will lend on the following property types: office, warehouse, retail, multifamily, self-storage and manufactured housing; throughout the US. “There is tremendous illiquidity in the new loan origination market,” he says. “The Fund will be able to capitalize on this lending gap by offering prudently underwritten and attractively priced first mortgage and mezzanine loans, as well as preferred equity to property owners.”

The fund is managed by a team of seasoned commercial real estate underwriters, lenders and investors including Kaye, Avery Egert, president and CEO of the Sovereign Group, Jason Shukofsky, who most recently served as a SVP and head of underwriting at Capmark Finance Inc., and Richard Cadigan, an attorney with 10 years experience in structured finance.

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