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How Solid Banking Relationships Can Grow Builders' Portfolios


Nowhere does the adage of real estate as a primarily relationship-driven industry hold as firmly true as with Colorado Federal Savings Bank's unique bond with its developers.

CFSB has recently partnered with First Stone Development on not one, but two projects at once.

The budding relationship between CFSB and First Stone Development reads almost like a romantic comedy; it began almost exactly one year ago for Saola Townhomes, the construction of 17 modern townhomes, in November 2015. At the time, both the lender and developer expected a lengthy approval process from the City of Denver and a final approval date of April 2016. Following a myriad of delays by the local municipality, the deal finally closed on Oct. 31, 2016, as soon as the final project approval was received by local authorities.


During the span of this construction loan, First Stone Development identified another acquisition opportunity and came to CFSB for funds to acquire the other project in a short turnaround.

It's the epitome of a symbiotic relationship in construction lending. Capitalizing on both deals serves both as an opportunity for First Stone Development to expand westward and grow its portfolio, while offering CFSB the chance to capitalize on an established developer. Such a move establishes CFSB as the Builder's Lender.

The bank retains both construction expertise and personnel around the United States, including SoCal, Bay Area, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado and New York. Developers like First Stone Development seeking to spread outwards can benefit from CFSB's national outreach.


First Stone hails from New York City, with successful projects peppering Brooklyn and Gramercy Park. The firm's portfolio is impressive, but founded in a rather different environment from the sprawling landscape of even the largest Colorado city.

Though the firm had previously developed only on the East Coast, CFSB recognized the developer's track record of success and potential to bring a new product and outlook to Denver. It's a special type of relationship that enables builders to expand their business and geographical spread.

"You can’t really identify with a lot of developers when you first start to work with them,” says CFSB construction loan officer James Paris. "When we do identify a good developer to work with, we can go ahead and work with them on multiple projects—with a more efficient underwriting process—since we have a history with them."

To learn more about Bisnow partner Colorado Federal Savings Bank, click here.