Walker & Dunlop Originates $108M Fannie Mae Loan for Housing Community in Lakeland, Fla.

Blair Group, one of Florida’s largest developers of affordable adult active lifestyle communities, has taken advantage of low mortgage rates and refinanced its Cypress Lakes manufactured housing complex with a $108 million Fannie Mae loan originated by Walker & Dunlop.
Brendan Coleman

Brendan Coleman, Walker & Dunlop

Blair Group, one of Florida’s largest developers of affordable adult active lifestyle communities, has taken advantage of low mortgage rates and refinanced its Cypress Lakes manufactured housing complex with a $108 million Fannie Mae loan originated by Walker & Dunlop.

The Walker & Dunlop team, led by Senior Vice President Brendan Coleman, worked with Keystone Commercial Capital’s Ryan Nelson and Charlie Williams to originate the 10-year, fixed-rate loan with four years of interest-only payments, on behalf of Blair Group. The loan is unusual because it carries a seven-year maintenance period, which provides the borrower “significantly greater prepayment flexibility,” according to a Walker & Dunlop news release.

The two teams were able to lock the rate on the loan 15 days after receiving the signed loan application from Blair Group of Lakeland, Fla.

“Due to Fannie Mae’s innovative loan structure, we were able to tailor this cash-out loan with a fantastic long-term interest rate and maximum pre-payment flexibility to the borrower,” Coleman said in the release. “It was quite a feat to rate-lock the deal in such a short period of time, but we were determined to take advantage of these historically low interest rates.”

Cypress Lakes, one of five active adult communities owned and operated by Blair Group, is a 1,000-acre, resort-style complex in Lakeland for adults 55 and up. It has 1,550 lots and offers new or pre-owned manufactured homes up to 1,760 square feet in size and residents can choose to lease or own their land. Amenities include two professional golf courses, a 32,000-square-foot clubhouse with a full-service restaurant and tavern, fitness center, tennis, bocce and shuffleboard courts and two swimming pools.

“Fannie Mae has been providing liquidity to the manufactured housing market for more than a decade and we are excited to have provided over $8 billion in volume since the inception of our program,” Jeffrey Hayward, senior vice president and head of the Multifamily Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae, said in the release. “Financing manufactured housing communities is not only good business, but also provides affordable ownership and rental options for many families, particularly for seniors, throughout the country.”

Coleman said Walker & Dunlop, a Bethesda, Md.-based provider of commercial real estate financing solutions, has now secured financing for Blair Group’s entire manufactured housing community portfolio.

Blair Group also owns and operates four other MHC communities in Florida: StrawBerry Ridge in Valrico; Hyde Park in Winter Garden; Lake Griffin Harbor in Leesburg and Bear Creek in Ormond Beach.

Marcus & Millichap’s Second Half 2014 Manufactured Housing Research Report notes it’s a good time for both investors and operators in the MHC segment of the multi-family sector, especially in the South.

“Through May 2014, new manufactured home placements in the U.S. have climbed 4.4 percent year over year, with 70 percent of the total placed in the Southern region. Higher occupancy this year will enable operators to push up rents,” the report noted.

Marcus & Millichap credits the improving economy, stating it will “foster demand for manufactured homes in the South as more retirees are able to afford second homes or move to warmer climates.”