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Alex Malzone featured in Chicago Business Journal: Here’s who’s buying and selling in Chicago’s hot apartment market

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (October 31, 2022) – As more and more remote workers choose to rent in the suburbs rather than the traditional urban centers, local and out-of-state investors are looking to move into the strong Chicago apartment building market.

The recently closed portfolio of 164 units to New Jersey investors illustrates the demand centered around Chicago, noted Alex Malzone, associate vice president of Northmarq’s St. Louis office (serving the Chicago and the greater Midwest).

“Many local investors are involved in acquisitions of less than 50 units, while national and international firms are investing in larger properties,” he said. “Investors are attracted to the market stability and the diverse economy as well as the long-term growth potential.”

Other topics covered include:

  • Apartment rents, interest both on the rise
  • Seller appetite
  • Available capital
  • A look ahead to 2023

Read the full story.

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Midwest Q2 Multifamily Market Insights: Vacancies drop and rents rise


Midwest region multifamily market report snapshot for Q2 2022
  • Multifamily property performance improved in the Midwest in the second quarter with vacancies tightening and rents on the rise.
  • The average vacancy in the region dipped 30 basis points to 4.5 percent in the past three months. Year over year, vacancy has dropped 90 basis points.
  • Most markets across the region have posted annual rent increases of more than 10 percent. The pace of growth moderated across several markets during the second quarter.
  • Investment trends were mixed across the region in the second quarter. Prices are generally higher in 2022 than they were in 2021, and most markets have cap rates around 5 percent. Cap rates will likely trend higher in the second half.

Read the report

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Chicago Q2 Multifamily Market Insights: Significant operational strengthening supporting investment outlook


Chicago Multifamily market report snapshot for Q2 2022
  • Multifamily property performance metrics improved in Chicago during the second quarter. Vacancy tightened to a five-year low, and the pace of rent growth accelerated. Operating conditions will likely remain healthy for the next several quarters as deliveries of new units should closely align with demand growth.
  • Local vacancy improved in recent months, dropping 40 basis points in the second quarter to 4.8 percent. During the past 12 months, the rate has tightened by 100 basis points.
  • Rent growth accelerated after remaining mostly flat at the start of the year. Asking rents rose 3.5 percent during the second quarter to $1,748 per month. Year over year, rents in Chicago are up 16.2 percent.
  • Sales velocity during the second quarter was similar to levels recorded at the start of the year. Prices rose in response to the strengthening fundamentals and rising rents; the median sales price year to date reached $160,800 per unit. Cap rates averaged roughly 5 percent.

Read the report

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Alex Malzone promoted to associate vice president of investment sales in Northmarq’s Chicago office

Chicago, Illinois (September 6, 2022) — Alex Malzone has been promoted to associate vice president – investment sales in Northmarq’s Chicago office. Malzone joined Northmarq in January of 2021 as a senior associate – investment sales, where he has assisted the team in multifamily assets focused on the Midwest region.

In his new role, Malzone will continue working with Parker Stewart, managing director – investment sales, and Dominic Martinez, vice president – investment sales, along with Northmarq’s Midwest debt/equity teams. Between the three investment advisors, the team sold 3,600 units totaling ~$500 million in sales and loan production in 2021 across the Midwest. Malzone’s competitive nature has helped bolster the team’s deal volume throughout secondary and tertiary markets across the Midwest.

Prior to Northmarq, Malzone started his career in commercial real estate as an associate director in Berkadia’s Chicago office. Before Berkadia, he was a member of the Miami University Real Estate Club in Oxford Ohio.

Malzone earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Economics and Political Science, and has a Master of Economics from Miami University.

Recently, Malzone secured the following sales:

  • Terra Creek Apartments – $42.8 million; 278-unit multifamily property in Rockford, Illinois. Read the full story.
  • Prairie Vista – $45 million; 304-unit multifamily property in Peoria, Illinois.  
  • The Maples – $24.83 million; 325-unit multifamily property in Racine, Wisconsin.  
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Midwest Region Q1 Multifamily Market Insights: Rapid rent growth to start 2022, construction heating up


Midwest region multifamily market report snapshot for Q1 2022
  • Deliveries of apartment properties in the Midwest region got off to a bit of a slow start to 2022 but are expected to accelerate across most markets through the end of this year and into 2023. Leading markets for new units include Chicago and Cincinnati.
  • Vacancy rates ended the first quarter averaging approximately 4.8 percent across the region, with some of the lowest rates in Milwaukee and St. Louis. Average vacancy rates are down 70 basis points from one year ago.
  • Rents in the Midwest have trended higher in the past several quarters. Rent growth in the first quarter averaged 2.5 percent, although a handful of markets posted gains ranging from 3 percent to nearly 4.5 percent. Year over year, rent growth reached 12.9 percent.
  • The median price in the tracked Midwest markets during the first quarter was approximately $139,000 per unit, while cap rates averaged 4.5 percent. The median price was pulled higher by transactions in a handful of markets. In many markets, pricing is closer to $100,000 per unit.

Read the report

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Milwaukee Q1 Multifamily Market Insights: Vacancy reaches 20-year low, rents on the rise


Milwaukee Multifamily market report snapshot for Q1 2022
  • After significant improvement throughout 2021, the Milwaukee multifamily market continued to strengthen at the beginning of this year. Vacancy ticked lower and rents advanced at a rapid clip.
  • Vacancy in Milwaukee ended the first quarter at 3.6 percent, down 10 basis points year to date. The rate has declined 120 basis points in the past 12 months.
  • Rent growth is gaining momentum; asking rents have advanced 12.3 percent year over year, reaching $1,274 per month as of the first quarter. Rents spiked 9 percent in 2021.
  • After investment activity nearly doubled in 2021, the pace of transactions has slowed in the first few months of 2022. While only a handful of properties have traded, prices have remained elevated. The median price to this point in 2022 is approximately $143,500 per unit, closely tracking the 2021 median price.

Read the report

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Chicago Q1 Multifamily Market Insights: Conditions stabilize after rapid growth in 2021


  • Property fundamentals posted modest improvements across the Chicago market in the first quarter, as the vacancy rate dipped and asking rents held steady. Demand for existing units continues to outpace new supply growth.
  • The vacancy rate in Chicago ticked lower at the start of the year, dropping 10 basis points in the first quarter to 5.2 percent. Year over year, the rate declined by 60 basis points.
  • After rapid growth in 2021, asking rents remained essentially unchanged in the first quarter at $1,688 per month. Year over year, rents jumped 14.5 percent.
  • During the first quarter, the median sales price rose to $150,300 per unit, and cap rates averaged around 4.6 percent. Sales velocity got off to a more active start to 2022 than in recent years.

Read the report

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Looking forward for an active 2022

Our office remained not just “open for business” for 2021 but very busy.  We are thankful for all of our clients who contributed to a record-breaking year of loan closings for us.  While certainly challenging from time to time, we were able to provide financing for all property types, multiple lender sources, and loan sizes from small to medium to large.  Although most properties are in our MSA, we followed our clients who expanded their portfolios nationally by collaborating with the entire network of Northmarq’s 40 offices throughout the country.

While multifamily properties continue to shine as our majority of financings, we remain busy with industrial and retail loans as well.  Our lenders were able to provide very competitive and favorable loan terms to our clients, who have experienced many economic cycles.  What’s critical for us is to have such a broad spectrum of Life Company lenders who are active in our market. We value the partnership with those lenders, many of whom we’ve worked with for many decades.

Timing is important to minimize volatility

With the Pandemic shifting to an Endemic, we are hopeful that the worst is behind us, and we look forward to some normality in 2022.  All of our lenders have excellent lending goals and the interest rates, while quite volatile, remain at historic low levels.  Timing is important on every deal, and we pride ourselves in being able to react quickly so that any volatility can be minimized.  We remain committed to providing expertise on underwriting, closing and market knowledge.

Multifamily remains the favored asset class

Looking towards the next several months, we will be tracking multifamily trends as rent growth and values continue to rise.  Occupancy levels remain quite strong, over 95% in most markets.  The supply of new units lags demand creating a frenzy for growth in rents, as the supply chain delays exacerbate the shortages.  Additionally, the conversion of single-family homes to rental properties takes on a new form of competition.

Cap rates for multifamily properties are at their lowest levels in history and transactions are attracting capital from every source imaginable.  Value-add transactions are the most sought after with upside potential providing the highest returns to investors.  This in turn has led to an increased activity from Bridge lenders providing short-term flexible financing options including floating rate, flexible prepayment structure and interest-only payment options.  This trend is likely to continue.  Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are capturing business that contains elements of affordability and for their best Borrowers.  With the volume caps increased for 2022, we anticipate a more controlled flow of volumes affecting spread adjustments throughout the year.

Don’t overlook other property types

The retail sector has recovered somewhat as tenant replacement and displacement have stabilized.  Location, location, location is important as always.  There is transition to services while landlords adjust to tenant right-sizing and rent adjustments.  This trend will continue.

Industrial properties continue to explode on the distribution needs of online shopping.  Amazon and many other logistics businesses are expanding across the nation.  In the Midwest, we benefit from the transportation networks we support, by land, sea and sky.  Trains, planes and automobiles provide a great network to support the industrial sites across our market.

Other property types including office, hospitality, manufactured housing, mixed use development, and self-storage have lender opportunities, with more specific case-by-case alternatives from our network.

Lending price increases not unexpected, remain at historic lows

We have been in a terrific lending environment for the past few years, with interest rates starting with a 2, then a 3, and now edging towards the 4% range, with inflationary pressures and the Federal Reserve trying to reign in inflation while allowing for GDP growth.  While we don’t want to see rates climb, this was not unexpected since the economy is strengthening and the historically low rates have been predicted to rise over the last few years.  It will get interesting as we move forward.  Today’s rates are still very desirable rates.

We are looking forward to another great year providing the best financing alternatives to our clients.  It is with the utmost in pride that we continue to surpass the expectations of our lenders and our clients in providing Best-in-Class service.

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Sue Blumberg featured in REJournals: Aggressive lending market sets 2022 up for success

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (March 29, 2022) – Sue Blumberg, senior vice president/managing director of Northmarq’s Chicago-based regional debt/equity team, recently provided her insights in February/March edition of Illinois REJournals. The story, titled “Chasing capital: Aggressive lending market sets 2022 up for success,” notes that with capital abound, developers are hunting for it as the Illinois commercial real estate market rebounds from a challenging few years.

Blumberg explained how she is keeping an eye on floating rate loans, bridge loans, cap costs and swaps. “Volatility in the treasuries and rising interest rates will come into play with ability to leverage transactions,” she said. “Refinance risk will be looked at closely and we expect the costs to increase until we see stability in the rates.”

She also pointed out that borrowers are expecting significant rent growth and will capitilize on that in the future. “We have also done our fair share of long-term permanent loans, seeking to lock in those historically low interest rates,” she said. “Anyone who could refinance now to capture the rate has done so. This trend should continue as rates are still quite low.”

Read the full story.

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Northmarq Neighbors presents grant to A Safe Haven Foundation

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (February 17, 2022) – The NorthMarq Chicago office was pleased to present a $5,000 grant to A Safe Haven Foundation on behalf of the corporation’s effort, called Northmarq Neighbors, to support organizations that provide affordable housing and work to reduce homelessness.

L to R: Michele Robbins, Max Larmann, Kevin McCarthy, Adam Morris and Jeff Frankel.

A Safe Haven provides exceptional outreach programs throughout the Chicagoland area which help individuals transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency by offering a variety of transitional, supportive, senior, and affordable housing. They serve individual adults, families with children, youth, and veterans, and provide individualized case management, shelter, food, treatment, education, job training, and access to employment and affordable housing.

A Safe Haven’s mission is to ‘help people aspire, transform and sustain their lives as they transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency with pride and purpose. A Safe Haven provides the tools for each individual to overcome the root causes of homelessness through a holistic and scalable model. A Safe Haven’s visible social and economic impact unites families, stabilizes neighborhoods, and creates vibrant, viable communities.’ This is Northmarq Chicago’s second contribution to this outstanding organization.

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Chicago Q1 Multifamily Market Report: Vacancy Tightens as the Economy Starts to Rebound


Chicago Multifamily market report snapshot for Q1 2021
  • The Chicago multifamily market recorded mixed performance during the first quarter, but there were more positive signs than negative ones. Absorption gained momentum, supporting a slight quarterly vacancy improvement. Rents ticked lower but are expected to begin to trend higher in the coming quarters.
  • Vacancy fell 10 basis points during the first quarter, reaching 5.8 percent. This was the first quarterly vacancy decline since 2019. Year over year, the vacancy rate has risen 30 basis points.
  • Rents contracted to start the year, but the decline was less severe than dips recorded at the end of 2020. Asking rents ended the first quarter $1,474 per month, 4.3 percent lower than one year ago.
  • Apartment developers delivered fewer than 600 units in the first quarter, the fewest units to come online in a single quarter in nearly five years. Projects totaling approximately 6,800 units are currently under construction.
  • A broad mix of properties changed hands at the start of the year. The median price rose to $137,900 per unit, while cap rates compressed to 5.6 percent.

Read the report

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Detroit Q4 Multifamily Market Report: Vacancy Remains Low Despite Economic Pullback


Detroit Multifamily market report snapshot for Q4 2020
  • The Detroit multifamily market maintained a low vacancy rate, and rents remained in a very tight range in 2020, despite economic headwinds that stalled the pace of improvement. With the economy forecast to regain momentum in 2021, apartment fundamentals should remain healthy.
  • Apartment vacancy in Detroit posted healthy performance in 2020, with the rate inching up just 10 basis points for the year. Vacancy declined in the fourth quarter, dipping 20 basis points to end the year at 3.3 percent.
  • Asking rents ticked up 0.4 percent in 2020, ending the fourth quarter at $1,067 per month.
  • Developers delivered nearly 1,100 apartment units in 2020, but the pace of construction is forecast to accelerate in the year ahead. Projects totaling nearly 4,900 units were under construction at the end of 2020.
  • The Detroit multifamily investment market recorded mixed performance in 2020. The number of transactions was similar to levels from 2019, but there was a decline in activity in larger transactions. The median price fell, but cap rates compressed, averaging approximately 6.4 percent.

Read the report

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Chicago Q4 Multifamily Market Report: Minimal New Construction Easing Supply-Side Pressures


Chicago Multifamily market report snapshot for Q4 2020
  • Operating conditions softened in the Chicago multifamily market in 2020, but a recovery is likely to begin to take shape in 2021. The local labor market will likely begin to transition more fully into expansion mode in the second half of 2021, which should spark renter demand.
  • Apartment vacancy in Chicago rose 70 basis points in 2020, ending the year at 5.9 percent. Conditions began to steady late in the year; the rate inched up just 10 basis points during the fourth quarter.
  • After several consecutive years of strong growth, rents contracted in 2020. Asking rents fell 3.3 percent for the year, ending the fourth quarter at $1,476 per month.
  • Apartment construction slowed, with developers delivering approximately 4,900 units in 2020. Projects totaling nearly 7,800 units are under construction.
  • Sales of multifamily properties slowed in 2020, with the greatest drops in activity occurring in larger, newer assets.

Read the report

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NorthMarq’s Chicago office arranges $73,249,200 in FHA financing for three-property multifamily portfolio in Omaha, Nebraska and Norwalk, Iowa

Torrey Pines

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (March 18, 2021) – Brett Hood, managing director of NorthMarq’s Chicago-based regional office, secured $73,249,200 in combined FHA debt recapitalizing three multifamily properties consisting of 721 total units located in Omaha, Nebraska and Norwalk, Iowa on behalf of Monitor Finance.

All three properties were previously encumbered FHA debt and thus eligible for HUD’s 223a7 refinance program. The program provided the sponsor an opportunity to lower their coupon rate, extend amortization, and improve property cash flow with reduced debt service obligations. Loan amounts ranged from $16,480,000 to $34,849,200 each structured with the typical 35-year term and amortization period. The subject transactions represent the final closing of a larger eight property portfolio, following the funding of $89,080,100 secured by five properties for the sponsor in late 2020.

Old Market Lofts

“The nature of a7 program enabled a streamline refinance with certainty of execution in a volatile COVID-19 environment.” said Hood. “The sponsor is an experienced HUD borrower and recognized the current interest rate environment as an opportunity for a rate-reset and cash flow savings.”

Two of the properties, Torrey Pines and Old Market Lofts are located in Omaha, Nebraska. Torrey Pines was constructed in 1998 and features 264 one- and two-bedroom floorplans. Old Market Lofts was originally constructed in 1901 as a warehouse but was redeveloped into a 265 unit apartment community in 2002. The property is in an ideal location in downtown Omaha and features one- and two-bedroom floor plans as well as ground floor retail.

High Pointe

High Pointe is located Norwalk, Iowa just south of Des Moines. The 192-unit property was built in 2000 and features one-, two-, and three-bedroom floorplans.

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Brett Hood promoted to managing director in NorthMarq’s Chicago office

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (February 9, 2021) — NorthMarq’s Chicago office announced the promotion of Brett Hood to managing director and Kevin McCarthy to senior vice president.

“Having Brett co-manage our Chicago office is a big step towards growing our office as we position ourselves for the future. Brett joined the company in 2017 and has been in our Million Dollar club and Producer’s Council consistently,” said Sue Blumberg, managing director in Chicago. “He knows the business and what it takes to build on what we have achieved together.”

In his new role, Hood will co-manage the Chicago office with Sue Blumberg, as well as continue the procurement of financing via the company’s unmatched lending sources for Chicago-area and national clients. Hood joined the company in January 2017 as senior vice president. He arrived at NorthMarq with more than 15 years of experience in CRE, including direct origination of $8 billion in loan volume. During his time with NorthMarq, he has originated more than $500 million in financing, leveraging the company’s relationships with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, life company correspondents, commercial banks/credit unions, and CMBS lenders.

Notable Transactions Include:

  • Monitor A7 Refi Portfolio – $89,100,000; five properties totaling 1,071 units, various locations; FHA
  • Rivershire & Riverwood Apartments – $38,600,000; 432 units; Greenfield, WI; Freddie Mac
  • Sioux Falls Acquisition Portfolio – $35,200,000; seven properties totaling 525 units; Sioux Falls, SD; Freddie Mac
  • Grand Forks Acquisition Portfolio – $33,400,000; five properties totaling 690 units; Grand Forks, ND; Freddie Mac
  • Rancho Mirage – $30,700,000; 310 units; Irving, TX; Freddie Mac

McCarthy joined NorthMarq’s Chicago office in 2014 as senior analyst and arranged over $500 million of financing in his role. He was promoted to production in 2017 as vice president and has originated more than $300 million in financing including office, industrial, multifamily and affordable housing properties, utilizing agency, life company, bridge, CMBS, and bank lending sources. In his new role as senior vice president, he will continue to provide financing solutions for regional and national clients through NorthMarq’s lending platforms, and work to grow the breadth of the Chicago office. Prior to joining NorthMarq, McCarthy worked for six years at Bank of America and US Bank working in CRE/CLO securitization.

Notable Transactions Include:

  • Reside on Surf & Reside on Morse – $30,400,000; 255 units; Chicago, IL; Fannie Mae
  • 1 Overlook Point – $9,000,000; 210,00k+ sq. ft. office; Lincolnshire, IL; Life Company
  • The Park Tower – $16,300,000; 134 units (affordable/elderly); Joliet, IL; FHA
  • Brookhaven Apartments – $21,500,000; 181 units; Gurnee, IL; Freddie Mac
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Sue Blumberg joins other industry experts for Chicago Commercial Real Estate Mid-Year Report

Sue Blumberg, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq’s Chicago office participated in a hour-long webinar on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, from 10 -11 a.m. about the state of the Chicago CRE market. The unprecedented uncertainty brought on by the pandemic was discussed as well as how to navigate these headwinds. The event was hosted by ULI Chicago and DePaul University Driehaus College of Business.

Other speakers included:

  • Michael Episcope – Principal & Co-Founder, Origin Investments
  • Keith Largay – Senior Managing Director – Chicago Office Co-Head, JLL
  • Mary Ludgin – Senior Managing Director – Head of Global Research, Heitman
  • Jim Schilling – Renowned scholar at the Driehaus College of Business
  • Charlie Wurtzebach – Director of the DePaul Real Estate Center
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25-year multifamily mortgage banking industry veteran Monty Childs joins NorthMarq in Chicago

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (April 23, 2020) – NorthMarq’s Chicago office welcomed long-time multifamily industry professional Monty Childs to its office. He will assist with the development and growth of the multifamily platform by leveraging NorthMarq’s unmatched network of capital partners. Childs’ career has been propelled by his motivation to help property owners and developers maneuver through the financing process, ultimately benefiting their properties and tenants.

“We are thrilled to have Monty join our office,” said Sue Blumberg, managing director of NorthMarq’s Chicago office. “He is a pleasure to work with and adds to our platform by providing expertise in affordable housing. NorthMarq brings Monty a plethora of financing options, adding to his sources.”

Involved in the multifamily mortgage banking industry since 1996, most recently, Childs worked at Freddie Mac in the Targeted Affordable Housing program where he established expertise in tax credits, housing subsidies and tax-exempt debt. Monty was Freddie Mac’s leading affordable producer in volume over the past five years.

Childs began his career as an underwriter at Berkshire Mortgage in Chicago and later transitioned to several loan production roles, with a particular emphasis in Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) Finance—Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and HUD/FHA. He has closed more than $10 billion in these loans.

“I am proud to be part of an organization with such a great culture and deep capital sources and am looking forward to hitting the ground running,” said Childs.

Childs holds a Bachelor degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Finance from The George Washington University. Childs currently serves on the board of directors of a Chicago construction company and has been involved for the past 10 years with the Illinois Housing Council.

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Sue Blumberg featured in REJournals

NorthMarq’s Sue Blumberg contributed her perspectives in a REJournals story titled, “Investors rushing to place capital before expected slowdown later this year.”

In Chicago and nationally, commercial real estate investors, brokers and lenders all agree that the industry will see strong activity for the first half of 2020. However, dynamics such as a decelerating economy, trade conflicts, labor availability and the presidential election may turn some actors into fence-sitters by the second half of the year.

Lenders are taking a more defensive stance as they evaluate LTVs, individual debt exposure by property, property cash flow and tenant and business line. Though many of the responding lenders report heading into the year with optimism for stable to strong deal velocity, any change to the low interest rate environment could sour their mood.

“We’re expecting to see more of the same,” said Blumberg. “We’re projecting a 5 to 10 percent increase in origination levels in 2020 compared to 2019. Where we’ll see the most activity is also more of the same with multifamily and industrial leading the pack and healthy levels for office properties.”

Read the full story here.

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Sue Blumberg recognized in Real Estate Forum’s Women of Influence

Sue Blumberg, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq’s Chicago office was recognized in in the Women of Influence Feature in Real Estate Forum. For a quarter of a century, REForum has published the Women of Influence Feature as a way to highlight women making inroads in the industry.

Learn more about what set Sue apart in her nomination responses below:

Why should this person be selected as a 2018 Woman of Influence? What makes this nominee stand out from her counterparts?
Sue has been involved in the commercial real estate industry since 1979. She began her career in Chicago and in 1983 moved to Washington, DC where she began her specialization in multifamily financing while covering the Midwest markets. Sue relocated back to Chicago in 1987 where she has been since. She joined NorthMarq in 2006, as managing director. Her expertise and client relationships have allowed her to refinance many properties several times over her career. Sue has provided financing for over 500 properties, representing over $5 billion in loans.

Sue is a graduate of University of Iowa (BBA Financial Economics) and DePaul University (MBA Finance). She is a licensed Real Estate Managing Broker in the State of Illinois. She serves on the Board of Highland Park Nursery School and Day Care and volunteers with several local charities. Sue is a founding member of Real Estate Finance Forum and a member of CREW Chicago.

In what ways has this nominee left her mark on the industry? Why is she worthy of this recognition?
William Ross, president: “Sue has been instrumental in her advocacy of women at NorthMarq, where she organizes a women’s breakfast at the company’s production conference. This event has grown from just nine women the first year to nearly 30 this year. In addition, she is diligent in her advocacy for clients, providing thorough analysis and solutions no matter the financing situation, and a great liaison to both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, often being recognized as one of their top national producers of the year. She was also selected to receive NorthMarq top internal award in 2015, which recognizes production, leadership and integrity.”

What are the nominee’s current responsibilities?
At NorthMarq , Sue is a managing director/senior vice president and provides financing solutions through NorthMarq’s direct relationships with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, preferred life insurance correspondents, CMBS lenders, HUD, non-recourse debt funds and banks. She leads the 12-person Chicago office, one of the company’s fastest growing offices, adding two new producers and three new financial analysts this year.

In the last four years, Sue has guided her office to $1.319 million in debt and equity transactions, with more than 250 of those loans in multifamily properties. She’s recruited two new producers and three new analysts to join the office in 2018, increasing the number of producers to seven.

Please list the nominee’s greatest professional accomplishments in past 12 months.
Sue is a top-tier Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac producer for NorthMarq , with accomplishments in the affordable housing financing for both agencies as well as FHA. In addition to originating business, Sue manages the Chicago office, which has had significant growth in the last 12 months, most recently adding two senior-level producers and three new analysts.

Recent transactions:

  • $93 million market-rate transaction of Columbus Plaza in Chicago via Fannie Mae’s Green Program, which was the third refinance of the same property.
  • $42.2 million for 509-unit multifamily property in Mt. Prospect, Illinois
  • $4.02 million affordable loan through Freddie Mac’s Targeted Affordable Housing program for a 145-unit independent senior living property in Illinois. The property was acquired by a leading Chicago Not-for-profit operator and manager that purchased the property to ensure the long-term viability for those in the community that deserve a great place to live.

What is the nominee’s membership/activity in business, career-oriented, charitable or civic-minded organizations?
Sue serves as President of the Board of Directors of Highland Park Nursery School and Day Care and volunteers with several local charities. Sue is also a founding member of Real Estate Finance Forum and a member of CREW Chicago.

Sue has been a guest lecturer for more than seven years at DePaul University for the MBA program in Real Estate specifically in the Commercial Real Estate Finance class.

How has being in CRE impacted your life?
When I began in the CRE industry more than 30 years ago, I was with a smaller company and had no idea there were practically no other women in the business.  I was one of 20 originators in my company.  It wasn’t until I went to an industry conference that I realized that the same 5 percent ratio of women in the industry looked a lot different, and was a lot more pronounced. The good ‘ol boys club was hard to break into, but I had excellent mentors both men and women. Women on our business walk a fine line in wanting to be one of the guys, while still remain professional. I felt I had strengths that worked well in the business, as I have a passion for what I do, and don’t think it’s limited or partial to men or women. If you know your business, and are able to communicate the advantages of what you represent, I feel strongly that women are likely to win the business evenly. 

 I have found great camaraderie in our business and enjoyed success through three different economic cycles. There were fewer women that were the owners or decision makers as my clients. I have seen that change over the years as well which is wonderful and as it should be. It is great being a woman business person and often attracts attention since there are so few of us. We still stand out in a crowd.

What’s your take on the current state of CRE and its performance?
CRE today is more stable and well positioned than almost any other time.  There are so many checks and balances that any imbalance or glitch in the economy shouldn’t be detrimental to CRE. Capital is plentiful in the markets, which could lead to aggressive underwriting, low cap rates and frothy pro-forma returns, but the underlying loan parameters remain prudent. As interest rates continue to rise, the amount of debt available will be affected, thereby limiting the chance of over-leveraging a property. 

That said, the amount of equity in a deal and the more limited returns will start to affect the pricing of transactions. We have found there is still plenty of opportunity in value-add transactions, energy saving green programs, and older vintage renovations to capture great returns to investors. A longer term hold of a property is more likely to be advantageous as the upsides and growth continue.  Interest rates are an unknown for the future and if they rise steadily and not suddenly the risk is minimal.

 As far as property types, industrial and multifamily are the favored groups. Retail continues to be a challenge although it seems to be reinventing itself more oriented to services such as fitness or boutiques. Office and hospitality are holding their own, and are specific to location and growth within any market.  It’s a good time to be in CRE. There is stability throughout the industry.

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NorthMarq Capital’s Chicago office adds Freddie Mac Senior Producer Matthew Brodsky to its production team

CHICAGO (May 15, 2018) – NorthMarq Capital, a leader in financing commercial real estate throughout the United States, announced today that Matthew Brodsky has joined its newly relocated and expanding Chicago office as vice president.

At NorthMarq, Brodsky will be responsible for the cultivation of debt and equity solutions for the entire capital stack for the company’s clients. While Brodsky can operate amongst all property types, clients will specifically benefit from his extensive multifamily experience.

A native of Chicago, prior to joining NorthMarq, Brodsky spent six years at Freddie Mac, sourcing over $5.2 billion in multifamily transactions. In 2016, Brodsky was promoted to senior producer in the Freddie Mac Dallas Central Office, where he was responsible for overseeing annual originations in excess of $1.65 billion across the six Seller/Servicer accounts within the Central Region.

Brodsky holds a BS in Public Financial Management from Indiana University and an MBA in Real Estate Finance and Investment from DePaul University.

“Matt is joining us at a great time, adding to our footprint in the Chicago market,” said Sue Blumberg, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq Capital’s Chicago office. “With our new space under a long-term lease and our strong existing team, Matt brings wonderful market knowledge and a host of excellent relationships to our group. Our agency platform and life company relationships will be a perfect fit for his real estate clients.”

The Chicago office recently completed its move within the same building at 111 South Wacker Drive, to Suite 3345 in Chicago, Illinois. The new space provides stellar workspace and easy access to the office’s local clientele, as well as providing extra square footage for a growing team.

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NorthMarq Capital’s Chicago office welcomes industry veteran Brett Hood to their team as senior vice president

CHICAGO (January 16, 2017) – Brett Hood has joined NorthMarq Capital as senior vice president of its Chicago-based regional office. Hood is responsible for providing clients with creative financing solutions on behalf of the firm’s direct relationships with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, life company correspondents, commercial banks and CMBS lenders.

With more than 15 years of experience in commercial real estate lending, including direct origination in excess of $8 billion in loan volume, Hood has extensive knowledge financing all property types for multiple capital providers. Prior to joining NorthMarq, Hood served as director within Guggenheim Partners real estate finance subsidiary, responsible for loan origination on behalf of the firm’s affiliated life companies and CMBS platforms. Previously, Hood spent six years within Freddie Mac’s multifamily division most recently serving as director of production and sales. At Freddie Mac, he played an integral role as a member of the Central region’s production management team, overseeing approximately $7 billion in annual loan volume. Hood began his career in CMBS lending spending his first seven years with several notable firms namely Credit Suisse, Nomura and CW Capital.

“We are delighted to have Brett join our Chicago team,” said Sue Blumberg, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq’s Chicago office. “His extensive experience across all lending platforms, from Freddie Mac to CMBS, will allow him to bring innovative and nuanced solutions to our client relationships.”

Hood received his BBA in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Sue Blumberg discusses construction financing trends in Midwest Real Estate News

NorthMarq Capital’s Sue Blumberg was asked about the latest construction financing trends in the July 2016 edition of Midwest Real Estate News. The story, titled “CRE pros: People matter when it comes to commercial financing,” focused on what it takes for investors and developers to qualify for commercial finacning today. Read the article here.

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​Sue Blumberg featured in Real Estate Journal

NorthMarq Capital’s Sue Blumberg recently shared her insight about how busy developers and investors are these days when it comes to requesting commercial financing for new developments and acquisitions. The interview, titled “Skin in the game matters when it comes to commercial financing,” was featured in the June edition of REJournals.com. Read the article here.

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Sue Blumberg: 2016 National Multifamily Housing Council’s Spring Board of Directors meeting shows multifamily demographics remain very positive

CHICAGO (June 23, 2016) — Multifamily demographics continue to be very positive. At least that was consensus at the 2016 National Multifamily Housing Council’s Spring Board of Directors meeting, held in May at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.

The keynote speakers had no problem establishing upbeat outlooks. Home ownership has slowed and continues to decline where renters, from young to old, look for alternative, low maintenance housing. Also, empty nester housing is untapped and unbuilt. There are many models of modular housing and shared housing (such as student housing suites) for young renters and amenity packages are incredibly high-tech and appealing.

Other takeaways:  walking score/location is everything; the suburbs are not hurting and the reason is different lifestyle and different price-points;  affordability of housing is getting worse with no answers, although there is the acknowledgement that the problem is tied to income inequality.

The Keynote speakers were:

David Axelrod
CNN Senior Political Commentator/Director of  Institute of Politics—University of Chicago
During his hour discussion, David discussed the  2016 election, Chicago fiscal and crime issues and the history of past political times (as far back as Lincoln). His message was “to please take this election seriously.”

Sam Zell
Equity Group Investments—Chairman
Hearing Sam is always a treat. He believes we are in the 8th or 9th inning of this cycle. He predicted we will have a soft landing, whenever that is, because the industry has done a much better job this time round of preparing and underwriting.  For his company, the walkability score is the only factor worth focusing on and density is the only answer to affordability. He also noted that there is no need for an interest rate deduction any longer in the tax code. Sam concluded his portion by opining that  the stock market is overvalued and that homeownership could drop to 55 percent, down from 62 percent currently.

Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Businessman, Founder & Chairman of the Paulson Institute, and former Secretary of the Treasury
Former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. focused on saving the GSE’s and pronounced his dismay at them still remaining in conservatorship with no way out, as that was not the original intention. He stated he thinks privatization is the ultimate out.

On the lighter side of things, there was no shortage of humor when he admitted to doing a lot of aging during his stint at Treasury. He looks back thinking he is lucky to have prayer in his life. Interestingly enough, he has become an environmentalist.

Vivek Wadhwa
Academic, Researcher, Writer and Entrepreneur
Vivek is a technologist and futurist and what he had to say was as scary as it was awesome.  He believes that solar power will be capable of meeting up to 100 percent of the nation’s energy needs in 10 years, and that we will be storing excess after that. In this scenario, there is no need for coal or gas. To keep up with this startling forecast, Vivek believes manufacturing needs to get away from the traditional model of “factory produced” and embrace enabling trained workers to innovate at the same time.

In conclusion, Vivek emphasized that technology, energy, environment, medicine and education, will exponentially advance in the next 20 years. Cyber-attacks and security are his most worrisome issue.

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Sue Blumberg delivers agency update in NorthMarq’s Market News

Click image to download PDF

Click image to download PDF

Agency Appetite in Chicago Signals Good News for Borrowers

As of the second quarter, 2016 the agencies have a good appetite for multifamily in the Chicago market, as well as the Midwest. Although there has been a surge of new product being delivered, it appears to be absorbing well. Rent growth is expected to slow to 3-5 percent from all-time highs of 5-7 percent, and vacancies edging up (also from all-time lows). Occupancies remain around 95 percent.

Read the full newsletter here…

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NorthMarq Capital welcomes Bob Toland to its Chicago regional office

CHICAGO (April 27, 2016) – Bob Toland has joined the Chicago regional office of NorthMarq Capital as vice president. At NorthMarq, Toland’s primary focus will be to structure and place debt and equity for clients seeking to acquire, refinance or develop commercial real estate properties.

Most recently, Toland served as managing director at Berkadia, where for 30 years he was responsible for the origination of commercial, multifamily, industrial, retail and office mortgages throughout the United States. Loan types include fixed and floating and ranged from $1 million to $100 million. He was part of the Top Performers-Chairman’s Club for multiple years during his varied tenure.

“We are excited to have Bob on board. With Bob’s 30 plus years of industry experience, and NorthMarq’s national platform, he will be a strong addition to our office,” said Sue Blumberg, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq Capital’s Chicago office.

Toland received his degree in finance from Miami University and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He has served on the advisory council for One America.

About NorthMarq Capital
NorthMarq Capital, the largest privately held commercial real estate financial intermediary in the U.S., provides debt, equity and commercial loan servicing through its 36 offices across the U.S. The company has built long-term relationships with life companies, CMBS platforms and local, regional and national banks and has a long track record of multi-family loan origination through Freddie Mac Program Plus™, the Fannie Mae DUS program and through FHA, resulting in more than $12 billion in annual production volume and a loan portfolio of more than $47 billion. For more information please visit northmarqcap.wpengine.com.

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Sue Blumberg Selected as Member of Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame

MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 23, 2014) – Sue Blumberg, senior vice president of NorthMarq’s Chicago regional office, has been selected as a member of the Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame by Midwest Real Estate News Magazine, joining some of the most accomplished leaders in the commercial real estate industry.

Blumberg and the other inductees of the fourth class of the Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame are profiled in the latest issue of Midwest Real Estate News Magazine.

A real estate veteran with more than 30 years of experience, Blumberg has closed loans on more than 300 properties during her career including transactions regarding agency, life insurance companies, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and bank lenders, primarily in the Midwest region.

“Sue has been a real inspiration to many women in the industry. Not only is she a consistent top producer, but she is an essential part of the NorthMarq management team as our managing director in Chicago,” said Larry Stephenson, senior vice president of NorthMarq. “She is well known in Chicago and brings positive energy to both work and community.”

A member of the Freddie Mac Production Advisory Council and the Amerisphere (Fannie Mae DUS sister company) Advisory Board, and a founding member of the Real Estate Finance Forum in Chicago, Blumberg graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor of business arts degree. She also earned an MBA in finance/real estate at DePaul University, where she has served as a guest lecturer for the past three years.

About NorthMarq
NorthMarq, the largest privately held commercial real estate financial intermediary in the U.S., provides mortgage banking and commercial loan servicing in 34 offices coast to coast. With more than $10 billion in annual production volume and servicing a loan portfolio of more than $42 billion, the company offers expertise to borrowers of all size. The company has a long track record of multi-family financing as a Freddie Mac Program Plus™ Seller-Servicer, and through its affiliation with Fannie Mae DUS lender AmeriSphere Multifamily Finance. In addition, NorthMarq has long loan production and loan servicing relationships with over 50 life companies, many CMBS platforms and hundreds of local, regional and national banks. For more information, please visit northmarqcap.wpengine.com.

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Jason Gray Joins NorthMarq Capital as Vice President of Chicago Office

MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 17, 2014) – Jason Gray has joined NorthMarq Capital as vice president of its Chicago office.

Gray will focus on originating senior debt for commercial real estate transactions. His NorthMarq clients will benefit from his broad expertise in lending platforms, including FHA, Fannie Mae, CMBS, Freddie Mac and bridge loans.

Prior to joining NorthMarq, Gray worked at Arbor Commercial Mortgage as an originations director, specializing in multi-family and senior housing properties. He also served as an associate director of origination at Oppenheimer Multifamily Finance and as a business development associate at Cambridge Realty Capital, concentrating on senior housing.

“Jason will be a great asset to our team in Chicago, with expert knowledge in senior housing and healthcare,” said Sue Blumberg, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq’s Chicago office. “His background is extensive and he brings instant opportunity to our platform. There is already synergy between our existing business model and those Jason has been involved with in his career.”

About NorthMarq
NorthMarq, the largest privately held commercial real estate financial intermediary in the U.S., provides mortgage banking and commercial loan servicing in 34 offices coast to coast. With more than $10 billion in annual production volume and servicing a loan portfolio of more than $42 billion, the company offers expertise to borrowers of all size. The company has a long track record of multi-family financing as a Freddie Mac Program Plus™ Seller-Servicer, and through its affiliation with Fannie Mae DUS lender AmeriSphere Multifamily Finance. In addition, NorthMarq has long loan production and loan servicing relationships with over 50 life companies, many CMBS platforms and hundreds of local, regional and national banks. For more information, please visit northmarqcap.wpengine.com.

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