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Eastern Consolidated, which led Times Square deal, sustains growth.

Eastern Consolidated Properties Mortgage Finance, LLC, a subsidiary of Eastern Consolidated Properties, Inc. was established in the first quarter of 1999, and has since concluded over one-half billion in debt financing throughout New York City and the tri-state area. Earlier this year, the firm completed the City's largest single-asset financing deal in history -- securing first mortgage financing for Four Times Square, valued at $430 million.

Philip D. Restifo, the division's Executive Director, has spent the past quarter century solidifying relationships to allow him to secure capital for his clients. He is the first one to tell you that he's not a "finance guy, he's a real estate guy" however, with his extensive experience in real estate as well as his constant effort to "keep in touch" with capital sources around the globe--Restifo has become a recognized leader in a most competitive marketplace.

The synergy between Eastern's sales brokerage and its finance unit comes quite naturally--allowing the finance unit to identify capital sources on the execution side of deals which are optimally suited to a particular financial opportunity. Based on the firm's already stellar deal history, Eastern has built upon its recent successes to create an even greater resource for the real estate investor.

As an example of the unit' s natural synergy with its parent, Restifo is currently working on confidential development financing brought to him by Eastern's new principal and development expert, Ronald A. Solarz. To complement this synergy, Restifo's colleagues will also agree that it is his personal style and strong relationships that have contributed tremendously to the new unit's success in less than two years.

Chairman Peter Hauspurg remarked, "Phil's dedication to Eastern's finance unit has allowed our firm to be considered one of the industry's top real estate finance resources. His extensive knowledge of both finance and real estate have allowed us to close historic transactions, once believed to have been the job for traditional investment banking firms."

Mark C. Moulton, Advisor, Principle Transactions at Lehman Brothers, Inc. added, "Phil has consistently impressed me with his through understanding of the deal and his ability to fit each transaction into the framework of the current market. His is realistic and efficient--a true resource in the real estate finance industry."

Beginning his career as a leasing broker for a national brokerage institution, Restifo is well accustomed to bringing owners and tenants together. According to Restifo, "it is critical to understand the internal workings of property and to put yourself in the owner's shoes, whether they may be building, managing or leasing a property. In each case, an owner' s responsibilities and risks change, and their financial needs with be altered as well.

"Eastern's mortgage finance unit works to give borrowers continuous and timely access to the most meaningful, accurate information available in both the real estate and capital markets. Maintaining contact with everyone is critical in our business since capital sources are often in and out of the dynamic market," added Restifo.

Following his position as a leasing agent and corporate tenant representative, Restifo continued his real estate career with the national development firm, The Galbreath Company, solidifying new business and development opportunities for the firm, while at the same time, building his personal database of real estate and finance contacts and friends. Signature deals include Restifo's work on 10 East 50th Street, the former North American headquarters of Swiss Bank Corporation, and the 1.2 million s.f. FedOak Center in Oakland, California.

More recently, Restifo contributed to the highly publicized disposition of the remaining IPA portfolio to Koll Bren Schreiber. Chuck Lindwall, Executive Vice President, Koll Bren Schreiber who worked closely with Restifo commented, "Working with Eastern Consolidated on the high-profile acquisition of the IPA portfolio was a true pleasure. Peter Hauspurg and Phil Restifo offered just the right combination of market knowledge, transaction expertise and professionalism to our project team."

Today, Eastern's mortgage finance unit originates loans of every size. It is best known for the historic first mortgage financing of Four Times Square, the Conde Nast headquarters developed by the Durst family.

According to Douglas Durst, President of the Durst Organization following the Four Times Square transaction, "The Durst Organization is so pleased with the outcome of our recent mortgage transaction for Four Times Square facilitated by Eastern Consolidated Properties Mortgage Finance, LLC, and provided by UBS/Warburg's Principal Transactions Group. Phil Restifo worked closely with me and our organization to determine the best plan for the building's financial future, and through close lender contacts as well as financial expertise, the result has been the close of a substantial transaction, meeting the needs of all parties involved."

Brian R. Harris, Executive Director of UBS/Warburg also remarked, "Working with Phil Restifo on the historic 4 Times Square transaction was a pleasure. He is a true pro and his experience in real estate finance brought a great deal to the transaction table."

Not every deal is a $430 million transaction -- and, more recently, Mr. Restifo secured just under $3 million in financing for the acquisition of a flex office property in Maryland and expects to conclude several more transactions this year from $3 to $15 million in size, a range consistent with the transactions of Eastern's investment sales brokerage.

Eastern works to craft financing programs which satisfy capital requirements of all sizes for all. types of properties--from interim, mezzanine or bridge financing to construction and permanent loans. To support these requirements, Eastern can quickly secure capital (both debt and equity) for both large and midsize transactions.

Although some clients may weigh the opportunity to work with an intermediary capital provider like Eastern with the savings of do-it-yourself financing, in many cases the fee is far exceeded by higher debt service costs or higher carrying costs as a result of a poorly structured financial package. Eastern has provided value for its clients, having successfully matched the needs of borrowers and lenders within the terms of a cost effective financing arrangement.

"Philip Restifo has exhibited extreme professionalism to my clients--often offering his professional knowledge and financial expertise where there is no immediate personal gain," remarked Steven D. Bloom, Real Estate Partner at Robinson Silverman. "Recently, Phil, at our request, was willing to meet with a new client for the purpose of reviewing the New York City hotel debt market and evaluating a commitment previously obtained by the client. Phil's generosity, which confirmed the client's judgments, was helpful to this client, supportive of our firm's relationship with this client and, according to the client, has assured Eastern that this client will be returning to Eastern for future debt financing," he continued.

When asked about her experiences working with Eastern, Mildred Nece, Real Estate Vice President; New York Life Insurance Co. commented, "I was fortunate enough to work with Philip Restifo on two transactions involving high quality New York City properties. He is known by his clients as a thorough, knowledgeable professional and in this case, facilitated two transactions for the same borrower."
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Title Annotation:Eastern Consolidated Properties Mortgage Finance LLC
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 18, 2000
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