Bridger Restarts CMBS Loan Program

Bridger Commercial Funding has announced it will resume originating new commercial real estate loans on income-producing properties.

Loans made under Bridger's new program will be underwritten to eligibility standards for securitization under the Federal Reserve's Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF).

Separately, Bridger also announced that it has hired the personnel from Whitegate Advisors, a New York-based real estate capital markets specialist firm, in order to support its new commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) origination activity.

Although the Bridger program is designed to allow investors purchasing new AAA-rated CMBS to access TALF financing, the program will offer borrowers a range of alternative financing structures, Bridger says.

To date, individual borrowers have been locked out of TALF-supported financings because of the pooling requirement for newly originated loans. The new Bridger program addresses this obstacle by assembling a diversified portfolio of loans from many different borrowers that the company expects will be eligible for nonrecourse securitization funding offered under TALF.

"Recent activity in the CMBS market is signaling that the credit logjam plaguing commercial real estate lending for the past two years is starting to break," says Bridger Executive Vice President Peter Grabell. "CMBS bond yields have fallen throughout the year, to the point where newly originated CMBS loans are becoming a viable financing option once again for borrowers."

Bridger's new program is open to applications for new loans from $2 million to $20 million. Qualifying property types are multifamily, manufactured-housing communities, office, retail, industrial/warehouse and self-storage. Fixed-rate loan maturities from three to five years will be offered, with traditional amortization and balloon payment features.

In support of the new CMBS program, Bridger has added the former Whitegate Advisors team to the Bridger platform. The team, consisting of Julian Vulliez, Edward Dale and David Weiss, brings direct capital markets execution capabilities to Bridger, the company says. Vulliez, Dale and Weiss will operate from Bridger's New York office.

SOURCE: Bridger Commercial Funding


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