(as reported in local industry/legal newspaper)
Dealmaker: Carlos J. Reyes
The Deal: The Reyes Law Group team represented developer Sheridan Real Estate Group / ANF Group in obtaining a $5.25 million construction loan for the construction of a 15,113 sf retail strip center located at 16620 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines, Florida (across from the Educational Campus in West Broward housing Broward College, Pembroke Pines Charter School, and the Southwest Regional Library).
The lender is Centennial Bank which provides commercial and retail banking services to businesses, investors, individuals and municipalities via locations in Arkansas, Florida and South Alabama. Centennial was represented by commercial loan officer David S. Pauley. The Sheridan Real Estate Group financing closed on September 29th.
Details: Carlos Reyes represented the principals of Sheridan Real Estate Group, Al and Nelson Fernandez and Al Gil (principals of contractor, ANF Group, Inc.) over the last decade, initially assisting the developer assemble the original 40-acre parcel during the early 2000’s while a partner at Greenberg Traurig.
“Like most developer and builder clients I’ve represented, plans evolve and change over time as the market changes and with solid management, they have the staying power to survive and thrive. Al and Nelson Fernandez and Al Gil are true professionals who have certainly thrived,” said Reyes, who led the legal effort. “When ready to take the next step in developing the last 4 acres, they turned to our firm for assistance in navigating the negotiations with lender’s counsel [Philip J. Morgan of Brinkley Morgan] to better assure a legal framework that would support their development. These deals always require an early focus on title and loan document drafts to assure we work through concerns and document provisions which left unchecked, can later be a damaging to a developer with project delays.”
The Sheridan Real Estate Group deal marks the last phase of the development which had started over a decade ago with the initial assemblage of the original 40-acres in 5 and 10-acre parcels and then a hold strategy through the recession. Ultimately, the back 36-acres were sold off and developed into residential units known as “Sheridan Village.” Now that market forces favored moving forward, the final phase, slated for commercial development, needed the construction loan financing.
This next phase now viable, the Reyes Law legal team was called into action and initiated weeks of ongoing negotiations with lender’s counsel, Philip Morgan, over loan document language, title issues, forms of construction agreements with the contractor and subcontractors, and corporate documents.
Carlos Reyes, as firm leader emphasized, “you have to make sure every team member contributing and supporting the work understands the very personal nature of a developer’s involvement and, in particular, the risk. Despite obstacles and delays in the negotiations, usually right up to and before closing, we all work through it to assure frustrations are overcome, don’t slow us down and in fact, we get to the closing table with a positive outcome for each party,” he said.
“As usual, Sheridan Real Estate Group, as the developer, had the challenge of demonstrating and assuring the lender this commercial project would be a success. However, with the track record Al, Nelson and Al have developed over the years through their principal company, ANF Group, they have the credibility and lenders want their business,” noted Reyes.
In the end, it wasn’t a tough sell. The commercial shopping center was essentially, totally pre-leased prior to closing.
Comment: “Centennial Bank is out and lending. So developers go to lenders like them to jumpstart their projects. And when those developers are Al, Nelson, and Al of ANF Group, no doubt that’s a successful transaction for both sides,” Reyes said.
Background: Team leader Reyes, is the firm’s founder and principal with 27-years’ experience, and with support from firm associates and staff, was real estate/corporate counsel for the deal.