Two firms are still actively pursuing mortgage REIT status, Jernigan
Capital Inc., a new REIT in formation, and Ladder Capital, which is
converting from a corporation to a REIT.
Jernigan Capital, which is looking to raise $110 million in an IPO,
focuses on financing self-storage facilities. Its founder, chairman,
president and CEO is Dean Jernigan, a 30-year veteran of the
self-storage industry. he previously served as CEO of Storage USA and
CubeSmart, both New York Stock Exchange listed self-storage REITs.
Jernigan noted in its filing that, although real estate fundamentals
and specifically self-storage real estate fundamentals, have improved
significantly since the recession, mortgage lending to the self-storage
industry has not returned to pre-recession levels.
"We believe many traditional lenders do not possess the self-storage
industry knowledge or experience to appropriately assess the risk of
loans secured by self-storage facilities and are very reluctant to lend
to self-storage operators and developers at the higher loan-to-value, or
LTV, and loan-to-cost, or LTC, ratios at which self-storage loans were
historically made prior to the recession," the firm noted in its filing.
Also, New York-based Ladder Capital Corp. has taken steps to convert
to a REIT retroactively to Jan. 1 of this year. This week, Ladder’s
stockholders voted to approve that plan.
Ladder originates and invests in a wide variety of commercial real estate
and real estate-related assets, including first mortgage loans;
securities secured by first mortgage loans and investments in net leased
and other commercial real estate.