Bank of America claims top spot among lenders during 1H 2017: report

BOA helped finance Douglas Emmett and Qatar's joint purchase of Wilshire Palisades

Dan Emmett of Douglas Emmett, Jonathan Gray of Blackstone and the building at 1299 Ocean Boulevard
Dan Emmett of Douglas Emmett, Jonathan Gray of Blackstone and the building at 1299 Ocean Boulevard

Bank of America lent over $1 billion across three dozen commercial properties in the Los Angeles market during the first six months of 2017, enough to place it atop CrediFi’s lending leader board for the first half of the year.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based giant helped finance one of the largest deals of the year — Douglas Emmett and Qatar Investment Authority’s joint purchase of the Wilshire Palisades at 1299 Ocean Avenue for a whopping $288 million. QIA and Douglas Emmett paid Blackstone Group roughly $1,400 a square foot for the 205,000-square-foot complex in April, marking Santa Monica’s highest per-square-foot sale in the city’s history.

National bank Wells Fargo Corp. placed second with $900 million in loans, while commercial real estate services firm Walker & Dunlop followed closely with loans totaling over $800 million, according to CrediFi, which ranked the biggest lenders on dollars originated during the first half of the year. Rounding out the top five were JPMorgan Chase, which originated at least $500 million on the first half of the year; and Citigroup, which issued at least $400 million, CrediFi found.

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Nearly half of all loans came from national banks, while another 17 percent originated from alternative lenders such as insurance companies and real estate investment trusts. But in contrast to other cities studied by CrediFi, such as New York City, Los Angeles saw 10 percent of its commercial loans come from a foreign institution this year — Bank of China.

Not only did the Beijing-based institution claim the seventh spot on the ranking, it provided the priciest loan in the entire first half of the year. The foreign bank coughed up $389 million to help real estate firm Crescent Heights finance its luxury residential project dubbed Ten Thousand at 10000 Santa Monica Boulevard. The 40-story apartment tower has captured headlines for its outlandish offerings, including on-site Botox treatments and team of robot butlers.

Other major lenders during the six-month period included California-based East West Bank, Arkansas-based Bank of the Ozarks, Manhattan-based Ladder Capital and PNC Financial Services.