Bridger Commercial Funding 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, or TALF. Separately, Bridger also announced it has hired personnel from Whitegate Advisors, a New York-based real estate capital markets specialist firm, in order to support its new CMBS origination activity.
Bridger’s platform is set up to allow community banks and their commercial mortgage banking subsidiaries to originate CMBS conduit loans,” noted Gary Unkel, a senior loan originator at ValueXpress. “Independent brokers and principals cannot originate for the program.” The Bridger program will entertain CMBS conduit loans as low as $2 million. “We are going to make available the Bridger CMBS conduit program to our banking partners, such as Country Bank,” said Michael D. Sneden, Executive Vice President of ValueXpress. “Similar to the SBA 7(a) and 504 programs that we already operate on behalf of our partner banks, we will operate their CMBS conduit operations. “We act as the back-office and knowledge center for our partner banks, having originated over $1.2 billion of CMBS loans in over 400 transactions,” Sneden said.
“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,” said 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.”