ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. – When a New York-based borrower needed a loan against property owned in another country, there was only one lender who could get them to closing: Kennedy Funding.
The Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey-based direct private lender today announced the closing of a $3 million land loan to JD St. Barth’s I. While Kennedy Funding stands alone in its ability to regularly and successfully close loans abroad, JD St. Barth’s I presented a unique challenge.
“JD St. Barth’s I borrowed against land they owned in Saint Barthélemy to fund construction of a private home on land they owned in South Hampton, New York,” said Kevin Wolfer, CEO of Kennedy Funding. “While this was certainly a unique setup, we drew on our extensive experience working on land loans and on international loans to ensure our borrower secured the funding necessary to fund construction on their new home.”
Notably, Wolfer said that the borrower had excellent credit and the property was owned outright, with no outstanding debt against the St. Barths tract. Additionally, the property was appraised at more than $2 million higher than the purchase price.
“In any other situation, it would not have even been a question that a borrower with a profile this strong would have been approved by a traditional financing institution,” Wolfer said. “However, the complexity of this loan, coupled with the fact that it crossed international borders, made this untouchable for any other lender but Kennedy Funding.”
Wolfer said that Kennedy Funding is the only lender who could make the deal happen. As an experienced firm in international lending, Kennedy Funding stands apart in its knowledge and experience in real estate and lending laws in the Caribbean, South America, and many other locales abroad.
“Typically, when people think of land loans, they automatically assume that both traditional and private lenders will pass over the opportunity,” Wolfer said. “That’s especially true when it comes to international deals. Nobody except Kennedy Funding has the knowledge, skills, local relationships, and track record to close in other countries.”
The one-acre lot in St. Barths offers panoramic views of picturesque St. Jean Bay in Quartier du Roy, along the eastern shoreline of the island’s northwest corner. The borrower purchased the acre on the exclusive island in 2014 for $5 million and has demolished the existing house. A permit has been issued for a seven-bedroom, 500-square-meter private residence, which is zoned for residential and open space use.
A short drive from the St. Jean’s Beach commercial area, the property is close to many significant commercial and relaxation destinations throughout the island. It is also close to the Saint Barthélemy Airport, which accommodates small planes and charter flights.
“St. Barths is a well-known luxury destination that attracts tourists from all over the globe,” Wolfer said. “Tourism continues to be strong, despite the challenges presented by the past year, and Kennedy Funding has a lengthy track record of closing loans abroad.” According to Wolfer, the firm has the experience, support staff, and knowledge necessary to navigate and successfully close loans in countries with vastly different regulatory, financial, and real estate landscapes. Most recently, Kennedy closed a $3.456 million land loan in Texas, a $2.3 million loan to construct a mixed-use property in the Dominican Republic, and a $2.64 million loan in Brazil for an agricultural project.
“Borrowers from all over the world come to Kennedy Funding because they know we have the strongest track record for land loans out there,” said Wolfer. “Simply put, nobody else can close a land loan, and especially an international land loan, like we can.”