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NEWPORT BEACH, CA-In an effort to create a niche in an economy where distressed properties abound, Sabal Financial Group LP, a diversified financial-services firm here, has launched a commercial real estate lending program that focuses on providing bridge loans for value-add real estate opportunities. The program will initially provide bridge loans across all income-producing property types across the West Coast and, eventually, nationwide.

The company has promoted James M. Martin to direct the new program. Martin, a 25-year veteran of commercial real estate finance, investment and asset management, was formerly president of Martin Real Estate Group, a full-service Orange County-based CRE brokerage company. He also held senior management positions with the Picerne Group and ORIX USA.

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