Changes to Agency Lending

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac delegate their lending partners to underwrite, approve and service loans while setting the program underwriting guidelines and agreeing to purchase the mortgage at a future date. Before Covid-19, rates were sitting around 3% for most loans in most markets. These two government backed loan programs are the largest source of…

VHDA’s COVID-19 Forbearance Response

Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) loan forbearance is available to any Borrower who documents and certifies that the Borrower, the development, and its tenants are experiencing hardship as a consequence of the COVID-19 emergency. A hardship will be defined by a decrease in actual monthly rents collected of at least 15% compared to those collected…

CMBS Relief/Change Requests to Service

CMBS is currently experiencing a level of servicing requests that far exceeds anything that has ever been experienced previously.  The master servicers, and the special servicers, are not staffed at levels to handle what is being asked of them. As an example, just in the CMBS hotel segment, 32% surveyed did not make April payments,…

Closed: Lingerfelt Commonwealth Acquires Office Tower In Columbus, Ohio

Chase Tower (PRNewsfoto/Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partner)


Richmond, VA —  December 23, 2019  — Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners, LLC, a Richmond, Virginia-based commercial real estate investment firm, today announced the acquisition of 100 East Broad Street, a 308,337 square foot, 24 story office tower in downtown Columbus, Ohio.


The tower, also referred to as Chase Tower after one of its prominent tenants, JP Morgan Chase, is located in the heart of downtown Columbus across from Capitol Square.  Chase Tower is currently 60% occupied and presents a significant repositioning opportunity in a market that has historically experienced office occupancies above 90%.  Lingerfelt CommonWealth plans to immediately implement a multi-million dollar renovation to the tower, including full elevator modernization, a first-class tenant amenity package, main lobby renovations, new HVAC mechanical equipment, and numerous other significant upgrades to building equipment.


“The opportunity to reposition an asset like Chase Tower, in a market like Columbus, aligns perfectly with our strategy of value investing in real estate markets with improving economic fundamentals,” said Ryan Lingerfelt, President and CIO of Lingerfelt Commonwealth Partners.  “By providing comprehensive building-wide renovations, addressing aging equipment, and securing a long-term parking solution for the building tenants and their customers, we will have positioned Chase Tower to be a leader in downtown Columbus.”


As the 14th largest metro in the United States, Columbus is now first among the Midwest’s 10 largest metros for population, job and GDP growth.  “Annually, there are over 22,000 graduates from the various colleges and universities in Columbus and the city has figured out a way to keep them local,” said Lingerfelt.  “And with population and job growth comes a demand for multi-family developments.  There are over 1,500 multi-family units under construction and 2,500 proposed multi-family units, all within a 1 mile radius of Chase Tower.”


Lingerfelt CommonWealth will own the tower via its vertically integrated investment platform. Commonwealth Commercial Partners, the Company’s affiliated commercial real estate operating firm, will handle all aspects of the day-to-day asset and property management for Chase Tower, opening the firm’s 15th national office. Commonwealth Commercial will continue to grow its platform and will manage assets for real estate owners across the greater Ohio region.


“We’re excited to expand our footprint throughout the Ohio region,” said Ken Strickler, President of Commonwealth Commercial Partners.  “Chase Tower represents a unique repositioning opportunity and we look forward to growing our platforms and serving the local community.”


Financing for the acquisition of the office tower was arranged by Atlantic Real Estate Capital.



Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners, headquartered in Richmond, VA, is a vertically integrated, full service real estate investment management firm with additional offices Hampton Roads VA, Nashville TN, Jacksonville FL, Tampa FL, Charlotte NC, Raleigh/Durham NC, Greenville SC, Charleston SC, Houston TX, Kansas City MO, St. Louis, MO, Reading PA, and Minneapolis MN. Together with its predecessors in the private sector and public REIT sector, its partners have built, acquired and managed nearly 20 million square feet of commercial real estate valued at approximately $2 billion across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Learn more at


Founded in 1996, Commonwealth Commercial is a leading full-service commercial real estate firm headquartered in Richmond, VA, with offices in Hampton Roads VA, Nashville TN, Jacksonville FL, Tampa FL,  Charlotte NC, Raleigh/Durham NC, Greenville SC, Charleston SC, Kansas City MO, St. Louis MO, Houston TX, Reading PA and Minneapolis MN. The company provides demonstrated expertise in the areas of leasing, purchasing, selling, developing, consulting, property management and asset management services. To learn more, visit

Bankshot- The one banking bill Congress might actually pass next term

By Victoria Finkle

Published December 02 2018, 9:30pm EST

Conventional wisdom says that it’s going to be a tall order to pass banking legislation next term, but there just might be a key exception.

One measure to watch will be a legislative fix for banks with customers in the legal marijuana business. While success is certainly not guaranteed, a narrow safe harbor for financial institutions in states where cannabis is now permitted is beginning to draw wide support from industry officials as well as from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. As chatter picks up, such a provision could find its way to passage in what may be an otherwise deadlocked term.

“As long as this issue is framed as a targeted and technical fix intended to clarify states’ rights, I think it has a path to passage in the next Congress,” said Isaac Boltansky, a policy analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading, who puts the odds of seeing a targeted safe harbor approved at around 75%.

Of course, there will still be hurdles. With Congress divided next term, Republicans and Democrats will need to come to an agreement on what exactly a pot banking fix might entail and how comprehensive a potential carve-out should be. Should legislation, for example, address the steep compliance costs banks face in this market due to requirements that they file suspicious activity reports for state-licensed businesses?

“It’s hard to think of an issue that ought to be an easier, bipartisan slam dunk than cannabis banking, but there are a couple of significant obstacles,” said Aaron Klein, a fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Klein noted, for example, that if the political debate turns from addressing specific business concerns to a broader fight over the legality of pot at the federal level, that’s likely to make a targeted fix significantly more difficult. It’s also unclear whether the vocal minority of mostly Republican lawmakers who strongly oppose marijuana legalization will block more targeted efforts from passage.

Lawmakers on the banking committees in both chambers will also be busy with impending deadlines — including the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and likely more work on the federal flood insurance program — that could take time away from debating pot banking and other industry initiatives. Yet these bigger measures, along with other major legislative packages focused on government spending and the debt ceiling, could also prove to be a vehicle for more targeted items, such as a pot banking fix, that can be tacked on as policy riders.

Interest in the topic is beginning to tick up as more states legalize marijuana in some form. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who is expected to take over as chairman of the Financial Services Committee next year, told The Wall Street Journal last week that political discussions on this issue are “inevitable.” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting have also raised concerns about the problems facing financial institutions in recent months. The resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who previously revoked Obama-era guidance that offered some protections to businesses operating legally in the marijuana industry — may also bode well for continued discussions.

“I’d certainly put it in the issues-to-watch category,” said James Ballentine, executive vice president of congressional relations and political affairs at the American Bankers Association. “We’re hopeful the topic will get a fair discussion, because it’s simply not going to go away.”

At the same time, there’s already been some groundwork laid in recent months. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., introduced a bill this summer — which was then endorsed by President Trump — that would authorize states to write and enforce their own laws with regard to marijuana, codifying the Obama-era guidelines that Sessions reversed. Legislation by Reps. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., and Denny Heck, D-Wash., would block federal regulators from issuing enforcement actions against financial institutions banking marijuana businesses in states where it is legal. Companion legislation has also been introduced in the Senate. That plan has also been backed by the Independent Community Bankers of America.

There’s “a real opportunity” next term to move legislation offering a pot safe harbor for banks, Perlmutter recently told Politico.

With Republicans controlling the Senate and Democrats in charge of the House next term, observers aren’t expecting a lot of big, comprehensive banking packages like the regulatory relief bill signed into law earlier this year. But that doesn’t mean legislation can’t happen — if the industry keeps its eyes on narrow fixes.

Bankshot is American Banker’s column for real-time analysis of today’s news.

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