Banks Tighten Commercial Real Estate Lending and Interest Rate Hikes Are on the Horizon Says the Fed; Opens Window of Opportunity for Alternative Financing

Ascend Capital Partners steps in to fill the void, says Managing Partner Eric Fedewa.

Washington, DC, USA — Federal Reserve Bank Chair Janet Yellen testified that the Fed will likely continue its plans to implement federal funds rate hikes and balance sheet normalization measures in order to gradually raise short and long-term interest rates.

This, along with the May release of the Fed’s senior loan officer survey, highlights a “closing window of opportunity for affordable financing from commercial lenders,” according to Eric Fedewa, Ascend Capital Partners Managing Partner. The senior loan officer survey indicates that there will be a tightening in traditional lending practices for the commercial real estate sector.

With these factors in mind, Fedewa said Ascend Capital Partners can fill some of the void in traditional financing for commercial real estate by offering financing alternatives such as inexpensive institutional debt, bridge financing, and equity.

“The Fed’s May report concurs with the tightening trends we’ve been observing this year in traditional lending for commercial loans. The need for alternative financing is clear,” said Fedewa.

“The tightening of traditional lending sources comes at an inopportune time for investors as the new administration is trying to heat up the U.S. economy,” said Fedewa, noting that a tightening of monetary policies on behalf of the Fed could raise lending costs for alternative and traditional lenders alike.

“The strengthening economy is creating demand, yet traditional financing practices have tightened. Unfortunately, the window in which alternative lending sources can provide inexpensive financing could be limited as potential Fed rate hikes loom on the horizon,” he said.

Ascend Capital Partners has expanded its financial service offerings and added several new offices with strong teams of financial experts in prime market areas.

“We’ve expanded our Washington, DC area headquarters and are adding offices in Boston, New York City, Sarasota, Florida, Austin, and San Francisco. We’ve added new professionals to the D.C. team who are all top performers in their fields and can provide a broad range of services to our present and prospective clients,” he said.

“We’re not only assisting our customers with financing, but we also offer consulting and strategic advisory services,” said Anne Brensley, an attorney by trade who heads up the firm’s advisory business:

Brensley has been successfully facilitating financial deals, directly providing equity, and consulting on complex real estate matters for the past ten years.

“We’ve been able to assist in changing government attitudes towards projects, walking developers through rezoning issues, and helping owners ‘right-size’ their capital structure. Ascend has seen an unaddressed need for bridge funding with EB-5 projects, and we’ve helped our clients utilize an array of specialized funding vehicles to get their projects completed,” she said.

Ascend Capital Partners provides financing options as well as advisors in several different areas of the commercial real estate financial sector.

For instance, Fedewa and Jud Villa worked together in Florida funding commercial loans. Villa is also an expert in single family home, “fix and flip, and fix and hold” deals. “We have so many ways to assist our borrower/clients, but helping them make smart choices and matching them up with financing,” said Villa.

Rob Merkle and Vince Lane round out the Ascend commercial real estate team. Lane has been a real estate developer, and also has expertise in high tech and international business. He splits time between Austin and San Francisco. Merkle heads up the New York City office, where he has worked for years and overseen billions of dollars in deals in and around Manhattan.

In college, Merkle played football for The University of Notre Dame. He said: “I know about teams, and this is a great one. We cover some of the most dynamic markets in the country, and our people are aggressive and seasoned professionals.”

“In markets like San Francisco and Austin, there’s a huge need for the type of innovative and alternative financing that Ascend offers. Banks are not lending, but we’re picking up the slack,” said Lane.

“We have sources which include debt funds, private equity, hedge funds, and our own managed funds,” said Fedewa. “With our decades of expertise, we will assist in finding the most efficient capital stack for your project.”

For inquiries or information about Ascend Capital Partners financing and advisory services, visit the new website — — or call: (703) 982-0609.

Media Contact:
Eric Fedewa
Ascend Capital Partners