Investors’ CRE team, after $ 556m in first quarter loans, optimistic for the future

Modest growth… cautious optimism.

Investors Bank’s commercial real estate lending group saw the first in the first quarter of 2021 and lead the second for the remainder of the year.

Joe Orefice, head of commercial real estate lending at Investors, said the bank made $ 556 million in loans during the first quarter. The loans were made to refinance existing commercial mortgages, acquire facilities and build multi-family apartment buildings.

“We have seen modest growth in our CRE loans over the past 90 days,” he said. “We are cautiously optimistic and take a balanced strategic approach to providing CRE loans as we see reassuring trends in many areas of commercial real estate.”

Orefice said growth varies by class.

“I think we are seeing good trends in most categories of commercial real estate,” he said. “The multi-family seems strong. Even the retail business seems to be coming back and improving. And the industry has remained a fairly hot commodity.

“Office is a bit more of a question mark for us. From our perspective, there’s still a quick question about who will return to work and when – and how much space will people need? “

Orefice said these reflections and discussions are expected to continue for some time. Capacity issues may go away, but office decisions will be more based on when the leases are set, he said.

“I think we’re going to see this unfold over several years,” he said.

And Orefice notes that there’s another factor at play: how many businesses in New York City decide they want a New Jersey location – and how many businesses in New Jersey decide they need to. a satellite location.

This movement also keeps the family warm.

“As people maybe left New York and came back to New Jersey, they were able to improve their standard of living a bit,” he said. “They can have a bigger apartment with a clubhouse and pool and parking and even a nice grocery store nearby. And it costs less – so they have more money in their pocket.

“I think this trend may stay here for a while.”

Orefice said that one of the largest recent transactions were a $ 45 million loan to refinance the existing commercial mortgage for a 104,500 square foot mixed-use building in Jersey City. The property houses 132 residential units and commercial spaces.

Orefice said the bank has also had strong success in the Philadelphia and eastern Pennsylvania markets – areas where Orefice expects more business going forward.

“The CRE group has been providing loans in this market for several years,” he said. “As the bank grows its presence in this region, we will be ready to use our expertise and CRE lending capabilities to structure loans to more local businesses seeking financing.

Here are some of the bank’s major recent CRE transactions in New Jersey.:

  • A loan of $ 24.7 million for the acquisition of a 271,900 square foot office building in Iselin. The property comprises 22 business units;
  • A $ 23 million loan for the construction of a 231,000 square foot multi-family apartment building in Elmwood Park. The building will house 240 residential units;
  • A $ 20.8 million loan to refinance an 828,500 square foot multi-family apartment building at Freehold. It contains 172 residential units;
  • A $ 13.4 million loan to refinance the existing commercial mortgage for a 46,600 square foot multi-family apartment building in Kearny. The property houses 45 residential units;
  • An $ 11 million loan to acquire a 56,000 square foot multi-family apartment building in Woodbridge. The property houses 56 residential units;
  • A loan of $ 10.2 million for the construction of a 95,500 square foot multi-family apartment building in Netcong. The property will house 80 residential units.

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