The Real Deal Miami

Fortune International Group, Rialto Capital Management launch bridge lending firm

Vaster Capital aims to issue at least $100M in loans per year

Edgardo Defortuna and Eric Feder

Fortune International Group and Rialto Capital Management launched a private bridge lending firm to fill what they see as a void in the marketplace, particularly for foreign buyers of Miami real estate, Edgardo Defortuna told The Real Deal.

Vaster Capital has been up and running for about two months with the goal of issuing at least $100 million in bridge loans a year, Defortuna said. “We’re obviously very, very involved in sales, especially preconstruction sales, and a lot of them are closing this year and next year. Many have been bought by foreign investors and individuals who want bridge loans for two to three years to take possession of the unit and decide what they want to do,” he added.

The target borrower is a foreign investor who was expecting to pay cash to close on their residential unit, or units, and is looking for an alternate to traditional financing due to a decline in their home country’s currency. Vaster’s core business will focus on residential loans, which is where Defortuna said the biggest need is.

“We saw a void in this market based on the fact that even though there are some players, they’re not institutional or sophisticated,” he said. “The demand is really strong because a great number of buildings are coming to close in 2017, 2018, 2019.”

Defortuna also feels “very comfortable we can dispose of the asset should that issue arise.”

The bridge lender is giving loans within 15 days that are typically between $600,000 to $700,000 and between 50 percent to 60 percent loan-to-value. Interest rates are between 8 percent and 9 percent. Eventually it plans to expand geographically.

Vaster also formed a joint venture with the Related Group for Vaster Capital II to provide financing to buyers at Related projects represented by Fortune, including Paraiso Bay and Brickell Heights.

Rialto, a Miami-based real estate investment and asset management firm, is a subsidiary of Lennar Corp. Fortune’s development projects include Jade Signature and the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach.