At Torrey Pines Bank, Senior Vice President Steve Black has dedicated his career to making their dream come true.
Steve draws from nearly two decades of experience funding federal Small Business Administration (SBA) loans — specifically, SBA 504 loans that let commercial property owner/users buy their structure and finance some or all of their equipment.
"These are really good loans for the bank and our business customers," said Black, who joined Torrey Pines Bank almost 10 years ago after another 10 years with a large national SBA non-bank lender.
Lenders are seeing more activity in SBA 504s as companies that faced financial challenges as far back as 2008 are returning to profitability and building up capital to invest in real estate, Black said.
"It's ferociously competitive in the SBA market," he said. "The way we continue to win business is by our reputation, our service, our professionalism. We have to have a product that's viable. I can't just sell something that's not going to work out there. We go the extra mile for our customers. We negotiate terms with the client to do what makes sense. Every request has a little different twist to it. It's almost like you customize your product to fit the need of the borrower. Our clients and CRE brokers value our ability to make complicated deals work and close easy transactions fast."
A recent example is Skateoplex, a Torrey Pines Bank customer based in Orange County. The owners' real estate team brought Black into their deal involving a new ice-skating rink being built in Carlsbad. Due to the limited supply of "ice time" in San Diego County, many hockey clubs, professional and recreational skaters in San Diego County sometimes need to travel to rinks Orange County or Los Angeles.
Skateoplex saw an opportunity in San Diego and built a business plan of expanding their facilities, Black said. They made an offer on a vacant 38,000-square-foot industrial building near Palomar Airport in Carlsbad that needed tenant improvements and new equipment.
"We came into the deal because the bank that was working the credit was kind of fumbling around. They couldn't figure out how to get the deal done," he said. "They were putting some restraints on the borrower to finalize all their permitting, and they needed to get a better handle on all the interior work needed. All that was putting a block on getting the escrow closed.
"The seller was in an exchange and needed to get the sale to occur. So the real estate broker brought me in and said, ‘Can you creatively figure out how to do this?' I told them if they follow my lead and let me bring my team in on this, we could get this escrow and give you your dream of having your facility down here. And sure enough, we were able to do that. They bought the property and have already got commitments for ice time in the third and fourth quarters."
12220 El Camino Real, Suite 220 | San Diego, CA 92130 | 858.523-4644 | www.torreypinesbank.com
4350 Executive Dr. Ste., 130
San Diego, CA 92121
Feb. 4, 2013 -- Doug Sherwin speaks with Teofla Rich, senior vice president and head of private banking at Torrey Pines Bank, about the recent consolidation in community banking, and how the third largest locally based bank in San Diego has been able to survive.