Bassuk to Refi 9 Maxx Properties with $140M

Using a special HUD program, The Bassuk Organization has completed the first phase of a refinancing program for nine multi-family properties owned by Maxx Properties that resulted in $140 million in refinancing proceeds for the Harrison, N.Y.-based company.
Richard Bassuk

Richard Bassuk

Using a special HUD program, The Bassuk Organization, Inc. has completed the first phase of a refinancing program for nine multi-family properties owned by Maxx Properties that resulted in $140 million in refinancing proceeds for the Harrison, N.Y.-based company.

Maxx Properties was so pleased with the results that TBO, a New York real estate finance intermediary and advisory firm, is moving forward with a second phase of the refinancing program.

“We believe it is unlikely that a program of this scope could have been successfully completed by any other financial intermediary with whom we previously had experience, and we look forward to continuing work with TBO in the years ahead,” Rick Wiener, CEO of Maxx Properties, said in a joint news release.

Richard Bassuk, president of TBO & CEO of Greystone Bassuk Group, said Maxx Properties came to TBO in 2012 asking it to analyze its portfolio and suggest refinancing and enhancement strategies. Maxx Properties is a 77-year-old family-run owner and manager of multi-family communities in seven states -Arizona, Maryland, Nebraska, Colorado, New York, Nevada and Florida.

“They were looking to take advantage of the low interest rates that have existed and continue to exist and provide longer-term financing for their properties,” Bassuk told Commercial Property Executive.

Bassuk said TBO decided to use Section 223(f), a program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that allows borrowers to refinance existing HUD mortgages based on rents they plan to charge after renovations to their properties rather than existing rents.

“It’s different than any other lending institution in the United States. Everyone else looks at the present rates,” he said.

TBO advised Maxx Properties to begin renovating its Denver portfolio. Bassuk described Denver as a “very strong market” where rents have been increasing.

Many multi-family borrowers have used the 223(f) program. HUD said it issued mortgages totaling $7.7 billion for 740 projects with 126,388 units in 2013. But Bassuk said he believes Maxx Properties may be the first to use it on a large portfolio.

“To my knowledge, that hadn’t been done before,” he told CPE.

Bassuk said they were able to lock in mortgage rates in the 4 percent range for 35 years. He said seven of the refinanced loans were for Denver apartment communities and two were for Nebraska properties.

For phase two, Bassuk said they are also planning on refinancing more Denver properties and several other markets that have not been selected yet. He expects to have phase two “completed or largely underway” by the end of 2014. Bassuk said refinancing proceeds from the second phase should also be about $140 million for Maxx Properties. He said they have “built in an interest rate cushion” but doesn’t expect interest rates to rise too much higher than 4 percent.

Bassuk said Maxx Properties was a good candidate for the strategy because it was a large company with the “financial wherewithal” that had a strong executive team.

Keith Halperin, counsel to Maxx Properties, credited Bassuk for suggesting it to the company.

“This ingenious refinancing program was conceived by Mr. Bassuk and enabled Maxx to eliminate deferred maintenance, renovate apartments to a high standard, and realize substantial project proceeds utilizing the HUD program and the low level of interest rates,” Halperin said in the news release.