CMLS Financial, Skyhawk Form Cross-Border Partnership

Based respectively in Toronto and New York City, the companies plan to expand their services and geographic reach.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

CMLS Financial, one of Canada’s largest CRE finance companies, has begun a strategic partnership with and investment in Skyhawk Capital Advisors of New York, CMLS announced Monday.

Skyhawk is an independent boutique advisory and capital markets firm focused exclusively on the real estate sector in the United States.

Founded in 1974, CMLS Financial is one of Canada’s largest independently owned commercial real estate finance companies, with 11 offices across Canada providing commercial lending services, advisory services and institutional services.

In a prepared statement, Sam Brown, CMLS Financial executive vice president and COO, said, the  partnership will significantly expand the company’s network beyond Canada and be especially valuable for clients that are looking for cross-border opportunities. On the Skyhawk side, Managing Principal Kevin Stahl highlighted the partnership’s value for the expansion of Skyhawk’s advisory, M&A and capital markets lines.

Lenders even more cautious

The beginning of 2023 sees the CRE capital markets situation still in flux.

In a December Viewpoint, Troy Marek of Sabal Capital Partners and Regions Bank emphasized that capital is still available, but that borrowers should expect closer scrutiny by lenders of them and of their deals — and should anticipate bringing more equity to the table.

The same month, Peter Welsh, a principal at Gantry, commented that office remains “perhaps the most vexing asset class,” with lenders closely inquiring about subleasing (which is often under-reported), as well as re-tenanting costs and a tenant’s return-to-office success.

Besides ongoing favorite industrial, Welsh added, sought-after asset types for lenders include “grocery and national tenant-anchored suburban power centers. These assets have performed above expectations post COVID and are still attractive moving into the new year.”

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