In this edition of the HSA Team Member Spotlight, we talk with Doug Jones, vice president of finance and portfolio management with HSA Commercial. Doug works directly with the firm’s senior management to identify potential acquisitions as part of HSA’s overall national strategy to develop and acquire commercial investment properties, and he analyzes both new and existing properties owned by HSA as well as third-party owners for purposes of acquisition, development, leasing and financing.
HSA: What types of projects is HSA’s finance department currently working on?
Jones: We recently obtained construction financing for a spec industrial development project that we just broke ground on with our institutional joint venture partner. By leveraging our experience and the national resources of our JV investors, we were very fortunate to structure a great loan with one of our frequent banking partners. We are also in the process of working through construction and acquisition financing for two separate retail projects in the Midwest, and earlier this year, we procured loans for three medical office build-to-suit projects. So, we are very active across all of our product types.
HSA: In your experience, what types of property are most appealing to the banks right now?
Jones: In the current lending environment, there is a lot of capital in search of a select number of quality commercial real estate deals. As long as the property is well-located and has a stable cash flow, it should be pursued aggressively by the banks, but with the real estate crash still in recent memory, many lenders are more cautious these days with properties that lack strong real estate fundamentals. Lenders are getting more aggressive than they were three or four years ago, but they are still showing reasonable restraint.
HSA: With lenders being more cautious, how important are relationships in obtaining financing?
Jones: At HSA, we are extremely fortunate to consistently find capital in this market because of the very strong relationships with our lending partners. Having those well-maintained contacts has been critical to our success for the past few years, because it has allowed us to close on acquisitions in very tight time frames and to maintain flexibility in our developments. We are also continuing to expand our network of lending partners through new avenues in this environment. We don’t take our lending relationships for granted and appreciate their commitment to our business.
Doug Jones is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois and has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Dayton.