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Will capital markets deliver another record year in 2022?

Despite potential rate hikes ahead, lenders have abundant capital and a big appetite for CRE assets.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (January 31, 2022) – We’ve experienced dramatic and remarkable events over the past two years that impact the commercial real estate markets. Pandemics, shutdowns, mandates, multi-trillion-dollar stimulus packages, eviction moratoriums, civil unrest, presidential election turmoil, the great resignation, supply chain issues, and more. And through it, total commercial real estate debt increased $213 billion and $238 billion in 2019 and 2020 respectively for a total of $450 billion. And total origination volume was up 60% in 2021 over 2020. Through all the noise our industry produced fantastic results.

Total commercial real estate debt now stands at about $4.15 trillion. For context, total commercial real estate debt hovered around $2.5 trillion for five years from the early stages of the great recession in 2008 through late 2013. Since, the U.S. has added a staggering $1.6 trillion in outstanding commercial real estate debt. That data point alone tells the story – that there has been and continues to be a huge demand for commercial real estate assets across the entire capital stack.

A continuing trend was the concentrated flow of capital to multi-family and industrial properties driven by housing shortages, and an accelerated changing retail environment towards online merchants. And, a tepid demand for office, retail, and hospitality due to lingering challenges facing those sectors continued. Lenders remain selective on retail as the industry continues to struggle with clicks vs bricks dynamics exacerbated by Covid restrictions. Office is hampered by the slow return-to-work and uncertainty of how hybrid working will impact demand for space. Hospitality was hardest hit in 2020. Although there has been notable recovery, performance remains uneven depending on the market and hotel niche.

An emerging trend in 2021 that we expect to continue in 2022 was the surge in higher leverage floating rate full-term, interest-only acquisition bridge loans in the multifamily space. That activity runs contrary to typical patterns where buyers go “long and strong” when very low fixed rates can be locked in for many years. Buyers have preferred the much higher leverage points achieved with very flexible prepayment terms on the floating rate accommodating a greater range of near-term capital options.

Lenders view markets throughout the Western U.S. favorably, particularly growth markets such as Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and all along the west coast. Lenders are keeping a watchful eye on urban centers, particularly those that have seen thousands of people who have relocated during the pandemic. Markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle remain vibrant with plenty of lender interest notwithstanding some outmigration.

As the record-high financing activity suggests, there is still capital available for a variety of property types and locations. As the industry exhibited in 2020 and 2021, it is very capable of assessing each asset on its individual merits. It is true that retail, office, and hospitality in are harder to get done. But assets with a great location, strong sponsor, with demonstrable supply and demand elements can find attractive capital notwithstanding. It may require your full-service capital advisor to look harder and to comb through the life companies, banks, credit unions, CMBS lenders, agencies, and debt funds. If the deal makes sense, they should be able to find the right solution.

For example, Northmarq was recently engaged by a long-term client to find permanent debt options to refinance two office buildings in the San Diego area. The buildings were leased to about 80%, with some short-term rollover risk and low occupancies related to COVID restrictions. Northmarq took the deal to 36 lenders with most saying no pretty quickly. But, with hard work on the phones, we were able to tell the asset and sponsor story well enough to find three very good quotes. The combination of a good asset, sponsor, and a hard-working mortgage banker found the outliers and a competitive capital solution.

So, what surprises are ahead for 2022? More of the same with several potential headwinds. The biggest uncertainty is interest rates. The 10-year treasury has already moved up 40 bps from its recent low. With actual inflation occurring, the Federal Reserve has indicated that it will raise short term interest rates during 2022.

Borrowers have enjoyed artificially low interest rates over the past few, which has fueled transaction activity and cap rate compression. In many cases, borrowers have been securing rates in the 2.25 -3.50% range as compared to 3.75-4.50% that has been more the norm in recent history. The question is how much of an increase the real estate market can absorb before it slows down transaction activity.

Another headwind is the potential changes to tax law. President Biden’s Build Back Better plan included a proposal to eliminate or cap 1031 Exchanges and substantially increase capital gains taxes as a way to help finance the plan. Both would be significant hits to commercial real estate. For now, BBB isn’t politically viable. But, with only one to two US. Senate votes, things could change very quickly.

Considering what the country has endured over the past two years, and the uncertainties ahead, it is amazing that the commercial real estate market has shown such strength through it all. Despite the potential challenges, capital markets will once again prove to be incredibly resilient. Capital sources across the board have abundant capital to lend. That capacity coupled with forecasts for steady economic growth postures 2022 to be another robust year of lending.

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NorthMarq announces promotions to its Executive Committee

Nancy Ferrell and John Bradshaw promoted to executive managing directors

MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 27, 2021) – John Bradshaw and Nancy Ferrell, two accomplished NorthMarq leaders, have been promoted to executive vice president/regional managing director and will join the company’s Executive Committee. They will work with Jeff Erxleben and Patrick Minea to lead the operations of the company’s three dozen debt and equity locations, as well as partner with Investment Sales teams in nearly half of those offices. Erxleben and Minea were also promoted to executive vice president/executive managing director as production leaders.

“Our production leadership team helps guide NorthMarq professionals across the country, ensuring alignment with our business goals and best practices with lenders, equity sources, and clients. Nancy and John will bring their deep financing expertise and strong client management practices to that leadership,” said Jeffrey Weidell, chief executive officer – NorthMarq. 

Nancy Ferrell has been with NorthMarq since 2003 when Legg Mason was acquired by NorthMarq. She has been a consistent top producer for the company, and has shared in the management of the highly successful Baltimore office. With a background rooted as a life company correspondent, she has also helped the office migrate into agency and FHA lending. She is well respected inside the company and within the industry.

John Bradshaw joined NorthMarq in 2017 when NorthMarq acquired his own independent mortgage banking firm in Salt Lake City.  He has led the evolution and expansion of the Salt Lake City office using NorthMarq’s expanded toolkit of lenders, internal resources, and digital platforms. His professional experience in the business and proven ability to develop talent add to the NorthMarq Executive team.

Ferrell and Bradshaw join Weidell, COO Travis Krueger, President of the DUS platform Jay Donaldson, Erxleben, Minea, and Executive Chair Eduardo Padilla on the Executive Committee.

In business since 1960, NorthMarq has grown to more than 600 employees through more than 20 acquisitions, a $64 billion loan servicing portfolio and access to hundreds of capital sources.

As a capital markets leader, NorthMarq offers commercial real estate investors access to experts in debt, equity, investment sales, and loan servicing to protect and add value to their assets. For capital sources, we offer partnership and financial acumen that support long- and short-term investment goals. Our culture of integrity and innovation is evident in our 60-year history, annual transaction volume of $16 billion, loan servicing portfolio of more than $64 billion and the multi-year tenure of our nearly 650 people.

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Nate Barnson promoted to managing director of NorthMarq’s Salt Lake City office

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (January 29, 2020) – The Salt Lake City office of NorthMarq announces the promotion of Nate Barnson to managing director. In his new role, Barnson will co-manage the daily operations of the Salt Lake City office with managing director John Bradshaw.

Along with his new leadership duties, Barnson will continue to work with diverse capital sources to originate, underwrite and close construction, permanent and bridge financing. In his career, he has closed more than $2 billion of financing with various lenders including banks, insurance companies, CMBS, credit unions, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD along with private capital, and equity sources.

“I look forward to co-managing the Salt Lake City office, along with my mentor John Bradshaw. I think we have a great future ahead of us, and having all of the tools and resources that being part of NorthMarq has brought to the table will enable us to provide the best financing solutions to our clients for years to come,” said Barnson.

“Nate has been a great friend and partner for many years. His promotion is well deserved,” said Bradshaw. “He’s one of the best mortgage bankers in the industry. He’s smart, works hard, understands the nuances of the deal, finds solutions, and gets deals done. He’s a pro.”

Barnson has nearly 20 years of commercial real estate experience. He spent two years working for a private developer remediating and developing brown-field real estate, and one year as a co-founder of The Utah East Africa Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that built an AIDS relief clinic in Uganda, Africa. He joined Western Capital Realty Advisors in 2005 until they were acquired by NorthMarq in 2017.

Barnson earned dual Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Utah in Economics and Spanish, and has an MBA from Westminster College. He is also a licensed real estate agent in the state of Utah.

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Adam Cornelius joins NorthMarq Capital’s Salt Lake City production office with eye on affordable housing solutions

SALT LAKE CITY (January 24, 2018) – NorthMarq Capital, a leader in financing commercial real estate throughout the United States, announced today that Adam Cornelius has joined its Salt Lake City office serving as vice president.

In his new role at NorthMarq, Cornelius will originate, underwrite and close commercial real estate transactions involving both debt and equity solutions for clients, sourced through the entire capital stack. Cornelius works across all property type for the “life of the loan,” but focuses on multifamily properties with an affordable component.

Cornelius comes to NorthMarq, having been involved in the commercial real estate industry since 2010. Having spent time at both Western Capital and later Marcus & Millichap as an originator, he has developed an optimism for the Salt Lake City CRE industry, which has experienced remarkable growth over the past few years.

“Adam is a great addition to our team,” said John Bradshaw, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq Capital’s Salt Lake City office. “A lifelong Utah resident, he brings wonderful market knowledge and a host of excellent relationships to our group. And our agency platform is a perfect fit for his affordable housing passion.”

Cornelius has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Utah. He actively supports Escalera, an organization that provides educational opportunities to children in Mexico.

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