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Emigrant Realty Finance Closes $1 Billion of Real Estate Loan Transactions in First Nine Months of Operation.

LOS ANGELES -- Emigrant Realty Finance, the west coast real estate operation and wholly owned subsidiary of New York's Emigrant Bank, has quickly established itself in today's active real estate finance market closing more than $1 billion of loan transactions in its first nine months. The transactions span from participations in senior secured and unsecured syndicated loans to direct bridge loans to companies ranging from public REITs, to public and private homebuilders, to opportunity funds and real estate developers.

"Our knowledge of western region real estate markets and flexible lending approach has enabled us to exceed our business objectives and place a great deal of capital quickly in significant projects in our target west coast markets," observed David Feingold, managing director, Emigrant Realty Finance.

From apartments in Los Angeles, to hotels in San Diego and San Jose, office buildings in the East Bay, condominiums in Honolulu and San Francisco, and single family lots in Phoenix, East Bay and San Bernardino, Emigrant's loan portfolio reflects the strength and diversity of the west coast real estate market. It has participated in loans to many well-known REITs and public companies such as Macerich Realty, Kilroy Realty, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Essex Property Trust, Nationwide Health Properties, Shea Homes, and KB Home as well as several private real estate businesses including Columbus Pacific Properties, Key Real Estate Capital, Intracorp, Farallon Capital, Legacy Partners, The Kor Group, Berwind Property Group and Joie de Vivre Hospitality.

"For Joie de Vivre we were able to provide senior secured bridge financing for two of its boutique hotels in the Silicon Valley. We recognized these properties as high quality yet in a recovering market," noted Chris Grey, managing director, Emigrant Realty Finance. "Our solid local market knowledge and experience with the Joie de Vivre brand and track record allowed us to quickly evaluate and proceed with the transaction."

In another transaction reflecting Emigrant's flexible lending programs, the firm provided senior secured bridge financing for the acquisition of an existing office building and parking structure that the developer is converting to residential.

Highlighting Emigrant's creative lending strategies, the firm provided senior financing for a pool of mezzanine loans and preferred equity investments on development projects and "value added" acquisitions originated and managed by Key Real Estate Capital and Columbus Pacific Properties. "This is an unusual combination of our knowledge and experience in mezzanine debt and track-record of successful value added project lending. We recognized an attractive financing opportunity and creatively structured a solution for the borrower," Grey added.

In addition to these specific transactions, Emigrant has financed the construction or acquisition of numerous apartment projects, luxury hotels and retail centers along with residential conversions, office and land acquisitions.

Emigrant Realty Finance is on track to complete $1.5 billion in financing by the end of 2006 and to have placed its targeted $2 billion in its first 18 months of operations.

Emigrant has the financial capacity and expertise to provide all types of secured and unsecured real estate financing, including senior bridge, term loans and credit facilities for public and private real estate companies, and various types of subordinated debt. It also will finance or purchase debt securities, invest in or co-lead construction loans, and invest in syndicated debt offerings by other financial institutions.

Emigrant Realty Finance targets senior debt investments ranging from $10 to $100 million and subordinated debt investments ranging from $5 million to $50 million. Loans are typically priced with a spread over Libor and have maturities no longer than five years. Emigrant will also consider equity investments on a very selective basis.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Emigrant Realty Finance was formed in September 2005 and is led by Chris Grey and David Feingold, established real estate and finance executives who previously worked together as partners for several years.

Emigrant Bank is owned and controlled by Howard Milstein, Co-Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, and his family. Emigrant Realty Finance is an extension of the Bank's existing real estate and commercial lending group led by Patricia Goldstein, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer.

Emigrant Bank was founded in New York in 1850. With assets of nearly $15 billion, it is one of the leading financial institutions in the New York area and one of the leading privately owned financial institutions in the country.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 7, 2006
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