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MIAMI-After failing to secure financing through conventional sources, the purchaser of a 44,000-sf commercial space in the recently completed Marina Blue Condominium building closed a loan through Kennedy Funding. The Hackensack, NJ-based direct lender provided $10.1 million to 888 Biscayne Enterprises LLC for the acquisition.

The unfinished commercial space is comprised of three floors plus a mezzanine in a 60-story tower at 888 Biscayne Blvd. The space includes two terraces for outdoor seating and comes with the title to 185 dedicated parking spaces in the building’s multi-level garage.

According to Kennedy Funding, the borrower is an experienced commercial developer with an excellent credit history and a track record that includes numerous commercial real estate purchases. The lender says the borrower has consistently secured financing for past purchases through traditional sources, primarily bank loans.

However, with the credit crunch and economic uncertainty, even such an exceptionally strong borrower found it difficult to close a conventional loan, notes Jeffrey Wolfer, Kennedy Funding president and co-CEO. He says his company was willing to come forward based on the surrounding area’s improving profile, as evidenced by a recently completed arena and performing arts center, and selection of the district as the site for the new Miami Art Museum.

The fact that the upscale residential portion of the tower is more than 90% sold and occupied made the deal even more attractive, as did the waterfront location, Wolfer says. While the Miami real estate market, like many throughout the country, is suffering, he points out that prime waterfront properties have managed to hold their value.

“It’s unfortunate that other lenders will completely rule out a type of development or an entire geographical area without considering specific circumstances and situations,” Wolfer says. “A closer look at this property, the buyers attracted to the residential units, the commercial spaces in the areas immediately surrounding it, [allowed us] to close the loan quickly.”

Kennedy Funding describes itself as a pioneer in the category of “situational lending,” saying it provides loans from $1 million to $100 million with commitments in as little as 24 hours and closings in as quickly as five days. Specializing in commercial real estate bridge loans for domestic and global clients, the direct private lender offers up to 65% loan-to-value deals for land acquisition, development, refinancing, construction, bank workouts, bankruptcies and foreclosures.

“Virtually no one is closing loans anymore, even on deals where the collateral is strong and the developer’s credit is excellent,” Wolfer observes. “That’s why more and more borrowers are coming to us sooner.”

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