Ground leases are an important component of many commercial real estate deal structures, particularly in major CBD’s. Bifurcating a property’s land or fee from the leasehold improvements has become an important financing structure for commercial real estate investors to maximize leverage and increase equity returns for well-located multi-tenant, multi- family, single tenant and hospitality real estate.
- The leased fee component of a property is transferred to a new single purpose entity which enters into a 99 year ground lease with the SPE owner of the leasehold estate;
- The ground lease is structured as an absolute net lease;
- The leased fee is financed through a 30 year fixed rate senior secured note issue;
- The senior secured note is funded by the private placement of ground lease pass- through trust certificates with institutional investors;
- The leasehold estate is financed through a commercial bank loan, insurance company loan or a CMBS loan;
- The aggregate financing proceeds for the bifurcated structure are in excess of the loan to value achieved under a traditional financing;
- The higher program leverage results in a lower equity investment and a higher return on invested equity when compared to a traditional financing;
- Under a refinance or recapitalization, the proceeds can be sufficient to repay existing debt and withdraw project equity while continuing to benefit from any future upside of the property;
- In an acquisition scenario, the acquirer achieves higher “all-in” debt leverage utilizing a ground lease and separate leasehold financing having a lower blended cost of funds than a senior or mezzanine financing structure;
- The fee component of a property is financed non-recourse at 100% loan-to-value at a fixed rate for a 30 year term;
- The private placement is priced at a very low fixed interest rate based upon a “A” or “AA” senior secured private placement rating;
- The leasehold interest can be financed at attractive rates through commercial banks, insurance companies and the CMBS markets;
- Unlike a traditional senior debt with a mezzanine component with all debt typically expiring coterminously, a ground lease provides low cost permanent capital with no balloon risk;
- Tax advantaged execution allows the ground lessee to depreciate 100% of the leasehold improvements and deduct 100% of the ground lease rent.
Contact Midwest Credit Lease LLC to see if your development would qualify for an unsubordinated ground lease financing.