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The Loan Ranger

Bank of the Ozarks on Track for a Strong 2017

Bank of the Ozarks, the Little Rock lender that could, has recently financed some large and notable loans in New York City that signal the Arkansas-based bank isn’t slowing down in Q2.

We recently explored the bullish lender’s success and noted that a shift to large loans, geographic diversification and an emphasis on construction lending have been keys to the bank’s continued expansion.

In Q2 2016, Bank of the Ozarks originated $400 million in commercial real estate loans in New York City, down from a Q2 of $439 million in 2015. The three loans from the current quarter that are highlighted below total $428 million, demonstrating that the bank has already surpassed its NYC lending for the same quarter last year and may well chug past Q2 2015 by the time the quarter is over.

We saw a similar pattern in Q1, when Bank of the Ozarks’ $277 million commercial real estate lending in NYC surpassed its lending for the same quarter in each of the two previous years.

The bank, which originated $1.4 billion in New York City commercial real estate loans in 2016, puts the largest portion of its financing in New York. Here are three loans it issued in Manhattan this spring:

40 East End Ave.

Bank of the Ozarks provided an $85 million construction loan on March 21 to the development firm Lightstone Group for a condominium development at 40 East End Ave. The firm plans to tear down the building and develop a 30-unit multifamily building.

615 10th Ave.

Befitting its reputation as one of the largest construction lenders in the NYC market, on March 21 Bank of the Ozarks originated a $108 million construction loan to Xinyuan Real Estate for a planned condominium at 615 10th Ave. The development will have 82 units and 36,000 square feet of retail space, with Target already announced as the main tenant.

23 Park Row

On April 20 Bank of the Ozarks provided $235 million in financing for the construction of a 54-floor, 691-foot skyscraper at 23 Park Row. L&M Development Partners and Joe and Rachelle Friedman, the founders of the J&R Music store, are partnering to develop the tower, which is planned to have 110 residential units and 55,000 square feet of retail space.

Embracing a plan of geographic diversification, Bank of the Ozarks has been working at making a name for itself in the Big Apple in recent years. With what’s shaping up to be a strong Q2 in NYC, the Arkansas-based lender’s commercial real estate origination in NYC for the first half of 2017 has already surpassed its lending in the same period last year, and the quarter isn’t over yet.


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