Non-Recourse $100M Transaction Closes

LAKE FOREST, CA— has learned exclusively that Landmark Capital Advisors has completed a $100-million refinancing and development loan for Portola Center South, a 626-home community on a 95.5-acre site here. The firm completed the complex transaction on behalf of SunRanch Capital Partners, a partnership between Sunrise Co. and Baldwin and Sons, two private residential community development companies based in the Western US.

Landmark secured senior debt through a bank lender with the intent of providing capital to improve the site and deliver lots to builders in a blue-topped condition. The team representing the client was composed of Landmark’s managing director Adam Deermount and senior advisor Terry Ruckle.

According to Shawn Baldwin, president of Baldwin and Sons, “We made the decision to begin grading, and land development began in June, prior to completing the restructured financing, so that we could meet our development schedules to deliver lots in the first and second quarters of 2016. We have had a very productive relationship with Landmark Capital Advisors, which gave us the confidence to commit to move forward.”

SunRanch plans to begin selling lots to homebuilders by early 2016. The site, composed of five planning areas, will be improved in one phase, taking about seven to nine months. In all, the site will consist of 569 for-sale units and 57 affordable units.

The team notes that a key aspect of completing this transaction is having excellent relationships with a large rolodex of capable lenders, permitting Landmark to identify the best capital source for the deal. Randall Bone, CEO of Sunrise, says, “The landscape of active lenders in large-scale community development has been changing rapidly, and Landmark’s extensive relationships allowed them to deliver attractive and well-structured financing options for Portola Center South. They are a ‘go-to’ source for seasoned development firms with well-positioned projects that are ready to move forward.”

David Kidder, president and managing director of Landmark, says, “We are excited to have executed this transaction on behalf of SunRanch. This project is a great example of our ability to navigate complex transactions and utilize our strong capital relationships to successfully meet our clients’ financing objectives.”

Deermount adds, “The market for large non-recourse transactions is thin, and banks doing large land-development debt deals is somewhat uncharted territory.” He says that Landmark’s strong relationship with the lender allowed it to be able to arrange financing and raise the capital needed to successfully recapitalize Portola Center South.”

Tom Farrell, Landmark’s director of business development, tells, “The capital-markets environment for large land development loans remains challenging as most banks continue to shy away from this product type. Landmark Capital, through its vast network of capital sources in the land development space, was able to identify a source and structure a loan that was a ‘win-win’ for the sponsor and the bank.”

As we reported in January, Farrell told us exclusively, “On the debt side, similar to equity, each bank or private lender seems to have their unique comfort zone. We try to match our client’s needs with the debt provider’s focus to insure a greater success rate. We try to save our client’s time and effort by not just shot gunning a project out to many providers who might not have an interest. Narrowing it down to two or three is more efficient and productive for all.” 

Stay tuned to for a more in-depth interview with Landmark Capital Advisors on this transaction and the market for non-recourse loans of this size.