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The Deal That Couldn't Be Done Last Year

Chicago Mixed-Use

The lending markets are finally equalizing. Investors and developers are coming down to earth on their expections, and lenders are back to listening to their story and underwriting true risk (versus metrics), L&N Real Estate Consultants partner Ruben Navarro tells us. (In history class they call that détente. In chemistry class they call it equilibrium. In lunch period they call it trading snacks.)


A great example: a $7M loan L&N just arranged for two single-tenant buildings in River North. Owner MAB Capital (managing partner Marc Bushala owns Untitled) was looking for long-term debt with cash out on 110-112 W Hubbard, Ruben (an art lover, snapped on the right with Mexican artist Jazzamoart) tells us, and locked down a 10-year, 5.37% interest, non-recourse, cash out CMBS loan (70% LTV) with JPMorgan. Ownership wanted out of its current full-recourse deal with Wintrust, he says. And selling the lender on the single-tenant hospitality properties, with Epic and Hubbard Inn as tenants, was the tricky part. The strategy was to underwrite in terms of “what-if” versus current cash flow, Ruben says.


L&N told the properties’ story in terms of comps and demand in the hot River North area, showing that if one of the tenants should unfortunately shutter, guys would be knocking on doors instantly to take over the buildings. In this loan and others, Ruben has noticed borrowers taking a bit of a hit rate-wise to secure non-recourse debt, taking it off their contingent liability list and allowing them to take on more debt and more projects. Outside of the office, you’ll find Ruben at the Autobahn teaching speed demons how to not wrap their Audis around a pole.

Related Topics: Hubbard Inn, Marc Bushala