One New York-based property lender is celebrating a record quarter.
Square Mile Capital issued $3.1 billion of loans across 24 deals in the fourth quarter, a record for the firm, Bloomberg reported. Last quarter’s loan volume was almost half of the $6.4 billion Square Mile issued in 2021.
Square Mile made a hard pivot towards multifamily loans in 2021, Bloomberg noted. Mike Lavipour, the firm’s managing director of investments, said the rise in multifamily loans is compared to when they only accounted for about a quarter of the business prior to the pandemic.
The firm, which was founded in 2013, has also focused heavily on the life sciences sector since the onset of the pandemic, making seven transactions in the space since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, it has largely backed away from office lending, which accounted for a third of its transactions prior to the pandemic.
One of those life sciences deals came last month, when Longfellow Real Estate Partners agreed to buy a majority equity interest in 43-10 23rd Street in Long Island City, Queens, eyeing to invest $120 million to make the building a state-of-the-art life sciences facility. Square Mile issued $155 million in financing to assist in the property conversion.
Square Mile didn’t shy away from acquisitions in the fourth quarter, either. Square Mile teamed with Hackman Capital Partners to acquire Kaufman Astoria Studios. The venture had previously dropped a reported $500 million on Silvercup Studios in Long Island City.
Square Mile isn’t the only multifamily lender that notched a successful 2021. New York Community Bank reported diluted earnings per share of 31 cents, a 15 percent rise from the fourth quarter of 2020. Loans grew to $45.7 billion and had their biggest gain since 2016.
However, a series of interest rate hikes expected to come beginning in March poses a threat to the sector.
[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner