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Kennedy's funds get around.

Kennedy Funding, a direct private lender based in Hackensack, N.J., finds it hard to keep a low profile these days. When Penthouse founder Bob Guccione faced creditors breathing down his neck, Kennedy quickly turned around a $14.5 million loan to buy Guccione time and found itself on the front pages of real estate and business newspapers.

Several years later Guccione narrowly averted foreclosure on his East Side Manhattan mansion with a $14.5 million payback to Kennedy on his defaulted loan and Kennedy found itself in the news again. Not that the hard money lender from across the river is complaining. Kennedy has seen a sharp rise in demand for commercial real estate loans both in New York and throughout the country.

"Commercial development and related business activity has definitely picked up," said Jeffrey Wolfer, president of Kennedy Funding. "Our loan portfolio from November through March exceeds $150 million and we're still in the first quarter of 2004. We're aggressively pursuing new opportunities in New York and around the country."

In addition to the Guccione loan Kennedy recently made two loans to developer Joseph Greenblatt for $500,000 and $375,000 respectively, to finance renovation for two five-story multifamily buildings at 148 W. 124th St. and 6567 E. 125th St.

A transaction that shows the signature of Kennedy Funding was its eleventh-hour $700,000 bail-out of the Shavi Purchasing Building in Middletown, N.Y. a little more than a year ago. Facing foreclosure, Shavi Purchasing turned to Kennedy to close the loan in less than two days, allowing Shavi to retain the 163,000 s/f building at Canal Street which was 90% occupied and pulling in $250,000 in annual income.

Other notable transactions included an $18 million loan to developers of Tamarack Resorts in Idaho to fund completion of what is being touted as the next Sun Valley. Tamarack recently appeared in The Washington Post and The New York Times as one of the hottest new ski resort destinations.

The first major new four-season ski resort to be developed in 22 years, Tamarack turned to Kennedy for funding in the critical first phase of the multimillion-dollar project. Tamarack Resort will feature some of the best ski trails in the country and will offer a complete roster of year-round recreational activities. Plans include single-family and multifamily residential, hotels, restaurants and retail shops.

"Kennedy Funding was very fast, very responsive and very thorough," said Jean-Pierre Boespflug, CEO of Tamarack Resorts. "They understood the project from the ground up."

The New Jersey lender is not afraid to reach out beyond the USA's borders either. Early in March, Kennedy completed a $5.4 million loan to developers of Taunovo Bay, a luxury resort community going up on the southern coral coast of Fiji's main island in the South Pacific. The luxury community will feature a five-star resort managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, a global operator of boutique hotels.

"It is difficult to find a lender such as Kennedy Funding, who will share your vision, particularly in the Fiji Islands," said Mitch Hagerman, CEO and managing director of Taunovo Bay. "Kennedy's ability to consider unconventional ventures and then move with great expediency to process and close the loan was a great help to us."
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Title Annotation:Finance: real estate
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NJ
Date:Jun 23, 2004
Previous Article:Singer & Bassuk closes $135M loan at Exchange Place.
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