Cushman to partner with mortgage banker to provide multi-family property financing

Cushman & Wakefield said it entered into an alliance with mortgage banker Walker and Dunlop to arrange multi-family property financing on projects backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Walker and Dunlop, a Bethesda, Md.-based lender, has been lending in the multi-family sector on Fannie Mae projects since 1988 and by 2009 acquired licenses with Freddie Mac and HUD through the acquisition of Column Guaranteed, the multi-family arm of Credit Suisse.

Cushman Wakefield Sonnenblick & Goldman, the finance arm of Cushman & Wakefield, will be responsible for leading multi-family transactions within the firm.

Walker and Dunlop has been working with Cushman & Wakefield on about $214 million in deals since 2009 and is expanding that relationship into a formal alliance.

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“Their expertise in investment sales was part of our growth strategy when we went public,” said Susan, Walker, vice president of marketing at Walker and Dunlop.

Among the New York area loans Walker and Dunlop has arranged are a $28.8 loan to refinance 488 Seventh Avenue, a 120-unit rental building in the Garment District and a $150 million loan to refinance the Ritz Plaza Apartments, a 479-unit building at 235 West 48th Street.

The deal puts the firms in direct competition with Meridian Capital, a Manhattan-based firm that also puts together multi-family loans through Beech Street Capital.

Walker & Dunlop originated $3.2 billion in financing in 2010, making it the 11th largest commercial mortgage lender in the country, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.