Richard L. Podos, CEO and president of Lance
Capital in New York, appeared on the Commercial Financing panel at the CCIM
Live! conference last October, the presidential election and fiscal cliff have
come and gone. Have the intervening months tempered Podos’ unflinchingly
realistic outlook for the lending environment? Not much.
“Commercial lending in general has been slowly getting
better,” he explains. But, “The real problem, in my mind, begins with leasing.
The standoff between the right and left and the current administration’s new
regulations have the business community unsettled.” And, in turn, lenders are
concerned about occupancy, particularly in smaller markets, which could take
three to four years to come back, he says.
“We hear in the media about the mortgage maturities
coming in 2015,” Podos says. “But at the same time, we’re going to see 50 percent of [mostly office and industrial] leases expiring. How
can lenders be certain these tenants will renew, or not reduce their footprint
or reconfigure space, which requires a large tenant improvement contribution?”
Lance Capital specializes in credit tenant lease
financing, which provides financing for TI based on tenants’ credit. So it,
too, may be affected by the prevailing uncertainty.
“It’s going to be a very challenging time for all of
us,” he says. However, “For CCIMs — who understand leasing, lending, and
investment — it’s a great opportunity,” Podos adds. “By virtue of their
training, CCIMs are the best candidates to address those multiple silos.”