Benmark Capital provides $40 million bridging loan for Atlanta development site

Reference capital granted a $40 million bridge loan to Olympia Heights Management refinance his Opus Square development in Atlanta, Commercial Observer has learned.

The 4-acre development site is located at 98 14th Street NE in Midtown Atlanta, just across from the Four Seasons Hotel. It will soon be transformed into a 1.8 million square foot mixed-use development that includes a 53-story residential tower, the tallest residential building in the city, commercial space and a retail component.

Benmark’s two-year loan refinances an existing bridge loan on the Perkins+Will-designed property approaching maturity.

“We are excited to provide a flexible finance solution and leverage our experience in the Atlanta market, which allowed us to complete due diligence and deliver a tailored finance solution in less than four weeks. “, Mark Simon, founder and CEO of Benmark Capital, said. “This transaction is a testament to our team’s ability to deliver a highly complex commercial bridge loan in an accelerated time frame.”

Closing a loan in 25 days is no mean feat at the best of times, but the current market volatility has created a window of opportunity for more nimble debt funds to step in and execute deals quickly while banks withdrew and tightened their loan cords. .

As a result, Simon said Benchmark finds places to lend at a lower price than it typically would have in the past — due to increased competition in the bridge space — and also deals with better economic terms.

In this particular scenario, the property’s former bridge lender announced it would not extend its loan, and New York-based Olympia Heights had less than 30 days to secure a new loan.

“They came to us because they knew we had the ability to close this, and in a short time,” Simon said. “From start to finish, in 25 days, we were able to fly down [to Atlanta]see the property, secure it, and get all the due diligence to close that loan on the balance sheet.

More broadly, “bank deleveraging and rising financing costs have made it difficult for borrowers to use conventional financing for transitional properties and created opportunities for nimble non-bank lenders like Benmark Capital to fill the gap. empty of cash,” Simon said.

So far this year, Benmark has closed about $100 million in deals and expects to close another $100 million by the end of the year, Simon said. It typically focuses on special middle-market bridge loan situations, what Simon calls “time running out” loans and simple bridge loans. Although its average loan size is between $25 million and $30 million, it has also done larger and smaller financings.

The Place Opus website. Photo: Reference Capital

Joe Moserdirector of originations at Benmark Capital, is behind the Opus Place loan, while Meridian Capital Groupit is isaac filler and Yossi Koschitzki arranged the financing.

“Benmark Capital was proud to work alongside Meridian Capital to provide a pre-development loan in downtown Atlanta,” said Moser. “The recent commercial building boom in the immediate area, including Google’s increased presence at 1105 West Peachtree, will bring many new jobs to the neighborhood requiring additional luxury residential units.”

“Despite what many would describe as a challenging capital markets environment, Meridian was able to arrange accretive pre-development financing with a trusted lender, Benmark Capital, for this well-located project in the heart of Atlanta,” said Filler.

Olympia Heights officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Cathy Cunningham can be contacted at

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