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NorthMarq Capital’s Amanda Macikowski rappels down Rochester skyscraper for Boy Scouts of America

Amanda_croptROCHESTER (June 7, 2017) Amanda Macikowski, vice president of NorthMarq Capital’s Rochester regional office, recently found herself experiencing a whole new side to commercial real estate. As part of the Boy Scouts of America’s 21 Stories for Scouts fundraising efforts, Amanda rappelled down the outside of First Federal Plaza. The building stands at a vertigo-inducing 21 stories and is the fifth tallest building in Rochester.

With an initial deposit of $100 followed by $1,435 of pledges and personal fundraising, Amanda committed herself to this wholesome adventure.  Thanks to sponsorship of the event and associated costs from RG&E/Avangrid and Kodak, all proceeds will flow directly to support low income at-risk youth in the Seneca Waterways Council, Boy Scouts of America program.

“Last year I saw other rappellers on the news for this event and I said I’m going to do that next year! I was a First Generation Scholar at St. John Fisher College where I did over 30 hours of community service a semester in the City of Rochester, mostly as a mentor and tutor to help those in need get a college education. Being able to give back to my community doing something I love was a really awesome and rewarding experience. I look forward to doing it again next year,” said Macikowski.

“Our office is proud of Amanda’s achievement and her dedication to giving back to our community,” said Sam Berns, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq Capital’s Rochester regional office.


About Seneca Waterways Council (Boy Scouts of America)
The Seneca Waterways Council, Boy Scouts of America serves the youth of the Counties of Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, Yates, and Monroe and the City of Rochester, New York. Seneca Waterways Council provides an educational program for boys and young adults to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness. The program is implemented by community organizations which are chartered by the National Scout Council. These groups use the Scouting program as a part of their own youth work. The community organizations, which have goals compatible with those of the BSA, include: religious, educational, civic, fraternal, business, and labor organizations; governmental bodies; corporations; professional associations; and citizens’ groups. For more information please visit www.senecawaterways.org.

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Sam Berns discusses state of the market in Rochester

Sam Berns joined four other NorthMarq Capital producers to discuss and answer questions regarding tertiary and secondary markets. In his responses he pointed out a shift towards adaptive re-use projects. “These include vacant building conversions to apartments, parking lot conversions, office to hotel, class “C” office to class “A,” and a resurgence in CBD retail. We believe this is a result of millennials desiring an urban lifestyle and needing the amenities required.” Read Sam’s responses below.

1.  What property type/niche are seeing/hearing about in your market? What conditions make this possible?
We are seeing many adaptive re-use projects located in city centers of Upstate New York. These include vacant building conversions to apartments, parking lot conversions, office to hotel, class “C” office to class “A,” and a resurgence in CBD retail. We believe this is a result of millennials desiring an urban lifestyle and needing the amenities required. This coupled with alternative forms of transportation such as Uber and Lyft will make car ownership a non-necessity.

2. What type of borrowers/lenders are in your market? For example; is it primarily agency or are bank and life companies also part of the mix? Why?
We are seeing smaller regional banks and credit unions taking the lead on the construction phase of CBD conversions. Agencies such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are available for the take-out financing for these multi-family projects as they stabilize. Life companies remain interested in lower loan-to-value transactions with solid leasing to established credits. They like the lower loans per square foot that many of these conversions demonstrate.

3.  What are the unique challenges facing your market?
Many of the Upstate New York markets are stable and not exhibiting the growth being experienced in other cities. In some ways this helps as lending institutions prefer stable economies as opposed to others which may exhibit steeply shaped growth and contraction patterns.

4. What are the unique opportunities present in your market?
Our regions resilience in recessionary economic cycle’s couple with slow growth that provide lenders with a consistent and stable market to do business in.

Read the full story here.

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2017 Commercial Mortgage Bankers Conference Highlights

By: Amanda Macikowski

San Diego was the site of this year’s Commercial Real Estate Mortgage Bankers Conference. Over 4,500 attendees were at this year’s conference representing Mortgage Bankers, Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) lenders, life insurance companies, agency lenders, banks, mezzanine, bridge lenders and preferred equity providers.  NorthMarq Capital met with over 70 of these organizations during the three-day event. These groups will shape the commercial real estate market for the next year. As opposed to the conference in 2016, this year’s tone was more optimistic and lenders want to put out more money than the previous year.

Overall Sentiment
Most lenders believe that the positive commercial real estate trends, which began in 2010, will continue through 2017. Lenders were concerned with refinancing the wall of maturities from the loans placed in 2006 and 2007; however, to date the majority of the loans have paid off with no workouts. As cash continues to accumulate on most lenders’ balance sheets, they are actively searching for yield opportunities. As US Treasury Rates remain at historical lows, many of our lenders are using floor rates, including higher loan-to-values, creativity, a larger spectrum of loan opportunities and a greater number of loan products.

Agency Lenders
Last year, NorthMarq continued to rank highly with loans nationally with both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. NorthMarq finished the year as one of the nation’s largest originator of Freddie Mac loans. Together these agencies again led the marketplace for multi-family loans. These low cost that multi-family debt provides continue to be about 25-50 bps less than most lenders on higher advantage transactions. There has been some leeway with the loan to values for refinances, with cash out now available up to 80%percent on a per exception/waiver biases. Agencies will continue to be more aggressive on Very Low Income Housing and Affordable Housing opportunities.  New for the Agencies, this year will be Modified Rehab, Value Add, and Green Programs.

CMBS lending has once again weeded out the little shops with new risk retention regulations. 15 CMBS lenders have left the market because of both risk retention and lower volumes. CMBS issuers will have to retain a 5 -7.5 percent every new deal they issue, or designate a B-piece buyer to take on that risk. The first pool meeting the new risk retention regulations occurred at the end of 2016. The pool was set up as a vertical risk retention, which requires them to retain their slice for a set number of years without hedging or transferring the credit risk. In this pool, we found that the spreads were the tightest they have been since 2015. Other structural strategies that are risk retention compliant would include a “first loss” horizontal option and an “L-shaped” arrangement, which is a combination of the vertical and horizontal structures. We have taken the position that if CMBS is the only execution available for your transaction, then it is prudent to stick with CMBS lenders who have large balance sheets supporting them.

Life Companies
Loan sizes range from $2 million up to $50 million for most institutional grade properties. Basic product types of apartments, retail, office and industrial continue to be what most life companies are seeking. Most life companies’ loan-to-values will max out at 75%percent for multi-family and 70 percent for other property types. However, NorthMarq saw several life insurance companies approaching 75 percent values for property types other than multi-family in 2016. Five to twenty year loan terms with 15/15 or 20/20 self-amortizing loans will be available in 2017. Several life companies are becoming more flexible with pre-payment penalties moving from yield maintenance to declining balance. With US Treasury remaining at historical lows, several Life Insurance companies are using floor rates in the four percent range.

Mezzanine and Bridge Lenders
Mezzanine lenders and preferred equity groups continue to fill the loan-to-value gap in the shortfall created by the aggressive lending earlier in the decade. Average interest rates are in the 8 -12 percent range, allowing loan-to-values to approach the 80 to 85 percent range. Bridge lenders continue to seek turnaround/distressed assets in the $5 million and up range. Depending on in-place cash flows, loan to values will be in the 65 to 70 percent range. These non-recourse loans are totally driven by the markets the properties are located in and sponsor experience. Most loans are interest only for a two-three year period.

In summary, expect the 2017 lending environment to be consistent with last year.  Most lenders are looking to maintain last year’s production levels. For more than 50 years, NorthMarq Capital has provided debt and equity to commercial real estate owners and investors through 36 regional offices coast-to-coast. With an annual production volume of more than $13 billion and a loan-servicing portfolio of $50 billion on behalf of more than 50 institutional investors, we are one of the largest commercial real estate mortgage banking firms in the world, and the nation’s largest privately held servicer and provider of commercial real estate debt and equity.

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NorthMarq Capital’s Rochester office promotes Amanda Macikowski to vice president

The Rochester-based regional office of NorthMarq Capital is proud to announce the promotion of Amanda Macikowski to vice president. In her new role, Amanda’s principal focus will be sourcing debt for insurance companies, agency lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, CMBS lenders, equity investors and other financing sources represented by NorthMarq.

Amanda joined the Rochester office in 2013 as an investment analyst, where she has assisted in closing over $300,000,000 in loans with agency lenders, CMBS and life insurance companies and private equity. In 2015, Amanda earned the NorthMarq Capital’s, “Freddie Mac Analyst of the Year Award.”

“Amanda will bring a high level of service and competence to her clients in Upstate New York,” said Sam Berns, managing director of NorthMarq’s Rochester-based regional office.

Prior to joining NorthMarq Capital, Amanda honed her accounting skills working in public accounting doing HUD audits and small business tax returns.

She holds a dual degree in Corporate Finance and Accounting with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from St. John Fisher College.

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