Top 5 U.S. Cities for First-Time Commercial Real Estate Investors

Investing in commercial real estate can be a lucrative venture, offering opportunities for significant returns and portfolio diversification. For first-time investors entering this market, selecting the right location is crucial for success. Some key factors to think about when choosing which market to enter into are population growth, job growth, and high rental demand. Here are the top five U.S. cities that offer promising prospects for first-time commercial real estate investors:

1.) Nashville, Tennessee

Commonly known as, “Music City”, Nashville has emerged as a hotspot for commercial real estate. The city’s strong job market is fueled by tourism, finance, and healthcare, and has forced the need for more office space as well as retail space. Nashville’s business-friendly environment yields a promising opportunity for first-time commercial real estate investors. This is a prime area for not only alternative lending opportunities, but SBA products geared towards those small and/or new businesses could be an excellent route as well. 

 

2.) Atlanta, Georgia

Known as the economic hub of the Southeast, Atlanta boasts a thriving business environment and a rapidly growing population. The city's diverse economy, which includes sectors like technology, finance, and logistics, provides ample opportunities for commercial real estate investments. Additionally, Atlanta's favorable tax environment and relatively low cost of living make it an attractive destination for businesses, driving demand for commercial properties.

 

3.) Austin, Texas

In recent years Austin has experienced rapid population growth, and is home to a burgeoning tech scene and a dynamic entrepreneurial culture. The city's strong job market, fueled by companies like Dell, IBM, and numerous startups, has led to increased demand for office, retail, and mixed-use developments. With a vibrant arts and entertainment scene and a high quality of life, Austin offers attractive investment opportunities for first-time commercial real estate investors. From large commercial loan opportunities to small-business ventures, the commercial lending space here is especially unique.

 

4.) Denver, Colorado

Situated at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Denver combines natural beauty with a booming economy, making it an appealing destination for commercial real estate investment. Its strategic location as a transportation and logistics hub, coupled with a diverse economy spanning industries such as aerospace, healthcare, renewable energy, and cannabis, contributes to its allure. Denver's young and educated population, alongside a burgeoning tech sector, further augur well for the future growth of the commercial real estate market. Notably, Denver's cannabis industry stands as a trailblazer in the landscape of legalized marijuana since the state's landmark legalization of recreational cannabis in 2012. Emerging as a leading destination for cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, the industry continues to thrive, significantly contributing to the city’s economy.

**It is important remember that the cannabis laws vary by state

 

5.) Seattle, Washington

Home to tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle has become synonymous with innovation and economic growth. The city's thriving technology sector, combined with a highly skilled workforce and a culture of entrepreneurship, has led to sustained demand for commercial real estate properties. From office buildings in the bustling downtown area to mixed-use developments in vibrant neighborhoods, Seattle offers diverse investment options for first-time commercial real estate investors seeking exposure to a dynamic and rapidly evolving market.

 

These five U.S. cities present attractive opportunities for first-time commercial real estate investors looking to enter the market. From Atlanta's diverse economy to Seattle's tech-driven growth, each city offers its own unique advantages and potential for success. However, as with any investment, thorough research and due diligence are essential to making informed decisions and maximizing returns in the competitive commercial real estate landscape.


Borrower Receives Loan Extension for Fast Food Chain's Commercial Property

The fast food industry has continued its booming growth through the decades and the appeal for high-quality meals on-the-go reigns supreme across multiple generations around the country. 

Looking to fund this ever-growing industry is always a sweet spot of ours here at Commercial Capital BIDCO. We're grateful to our borrower for a clean process! In October of 2023, our client closed on the extension of a loan for a commercial property located in Manhattan, Kansas at a requested loan amount of $1,040,000.00 with an LTV of 65%. The property itself is currently leased by a fast food chain and will continue this line of business in addition to implementing renovations thanks to the loan proceeds made possible with the loan extension. The renovations will enable the commercial building to receive its certificate of occupancy and the fast food chain can continue operations. 

Looking to franchise a restaurant or start a fast food business in your area - we work across the United States to provide funding opportunities when your primary lender is not able to. Let's talk through your goals and plans today! Reach out to us on our website: https://commercialcapitalbidco.com/apply/


Customer Closes on Commercial Property in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama has been witnessing a resurgence in the last decade across multiple industries including food and beverage, hospitality, and entertainment thanks to the redevelopment of several regions throughout the metro area. Knowing just how well one could prosper in the heart of Birmingham, our borrowers set out to purchase a building downtown next to a thriving nightlife scene for the purpose of reopening the pre-existing restaurant along with plans for upgrades that would appeal to the already established customer base. 

Our borrowers closed on the purchase of the 795 square foot commercial property in Birmingham, Alabama in November of 2023 with a requested loan amount of $650,000.00. The LTV with the deal was 61%. In addition to the purchase of the current restaurant located at the property, loan proceeds will also be used to fund renovations such as cosmetic upgrades and a new HVAC system. In order to get this deal locked in and fully fund the improvements, we needed to get creative and was able to have additional liens placed on two other buildings owned by one of the guarantors - both located in the Birmingham area. 

"Working with the borrowers, Justin and Eric, was a pleasure. Seeing firsthand the passion they have for this project and the city of Birmingham was an inspiration," says David Runge, Business Development Manager for Commercial Capital BIDCO. Jeff Luker, Commercial Capital BIDCO VP and COO, echoed similar sentiments stating, "Seeing the revitalization of key cities across the country is part of the 'why' for what we do. We love being at the core of these investors' successes and seeing their goals align." 


Cash Out Refinance in New Britain, Connecticut

The northeast is still a hot spot for commercial investments and real estate purchases for entrepreneurs as well as developers. As such with this deal, the borrower here was able to close on a cash-out refinance of a commercial property located in New Britain, Connecticut in September of 2023. The property is currently leased by a technical institute, however the loan proceeds from this cash-out refinance will be used to pay off the current note, provide funds to pay past due income taxes, provide funds for real estate acquisitions, and to provide funds for the property to build out a new parking area. The requested loan amount for this deal was $720,000 with a LTV of 65%. The property is 15,542 square feet and sits on 2 acres.


Upscale Wine Lounge Closes Cash Out Refinance in Pennsylvania

In September of 2023, our client closed on a cash-out refinance of an upscale wine lounge located in the beautiful borough of Rankin, Pennsylvania - just 10 miles south of Pittsburgh. The wine lounge provides a unique experience for special occasions, celebrations, date nights, friend gatherings, and more. The lounge also features multiple rooms and spaces to relax, gather, and unwind. Live music is featured throughout the week and a full dinner menu is available nightly. Our client has built an excellent path to success by incorporating unique concepts and an upscale feel for their customers.

Loan proceeds will be used to pay off a portion of their current debt as well as provide funds for upgrades and provide working capital. The requested loan amount for this deal was $2,650,000.00. The LTV was 59% and the size of the lounge is 14,000 square feet.  

 

 


The NACLB 2023 Conference and Expo Hit the Jackpot for its 9th Year!

The National Alliance of Commercial Loan Brokers recently held its 9th annual conference and expo - allowing Commercial Lending Brokers, Direct Lenders, and Service Providers in the industry to come together across three days in Las Vegas, Nevada. Commercial Capital BIDCO was again a Silver Sponsor for the event - marking our continued support of the NACLB through the years. The NACLB Conference and Expo gives us the opportunity to showcase our direct lending strategies and expertise as a company by having a booth in the expo hall. Through this we are able to meet Brokers new the industry as well as the chance to build on existing Broker relationships.

When it comes to industry education, The NACLB strives to educate others through topic-specific panels that include seasoned industry leaders who have proven successful in their markets through the years. Peer-to-peer education is instrumental to the success of ongoing broker development. This year, our very own Marketing Director - Leah Waldrop - was able to serve on the Marketing Yourself as a New Broker panel alongside the President of Aspen Capital Solutions, Nicholas Zuchegno. In this small group breakout, Leah was able to drive home the directives for brokers across both Digital and Traditional routes of marketing. Grassroots marketing through networking and face-to-face meetings was also a vital point throughout the session as the industry continues to change and evolve with the economy. Those in attendance were very engaged and it was beneficial to see marketing strategies and ideas come to life from the perspectives of both a Marketing Director and a business owner.

When it comes to professional development and education, Terry Luker is a true advocate of mentorship and continued learning. Terry started out in the industry as a Broker when he built Alternative Capital Solutions in 2013 - he has been in those shoes and continues to work on that facet of the Commercial Lending world through ACS. He understands what a Broker needs to develop and fine tune their strategy...what tactics need to be implemented to secure growth. It is always so enlightening to see his passion for Broker development first-hand when at NACLB. Having been a NACLB Rookie of the Year award recipient as well as a Broker of the Year award recipient, it's understandable why so many other Brokers look to Terry for guidance in their own businesses and markets. The NACLB Conference and Expo is an excellent time for Terry to meet with these individuals face-to-face and find out more about their pain points and passions. The NACLB Conference and Expo is a huge opportunity for Terry and the Commercial Capital BIDCO team to explain Terry's proprietary e-learning development tool, The Commercial Broker Playbook. This is the cherry on top for a Broker who is fresh out of a commercial lending brokerage school such as The Commercial Capital Training Group or is looking to build their business. We are thankful for the NACLB and the chance to put this tool in front of Brokers across the country.

The 2023 event was definitely one for the books! George Foreman served as the conference's keynote speaker and he knocked his speech out of the park! His story and words of wisdom served as the 1-2 punch for all of those who were in attendance to take a fresh look at their business and how they can best continue to grow and adapt. All attendees, no matter their market, background or business goals left the conference refreshed and revitalized to take on 2024. The Commercial Capital BIDCO team has already hit the ground running on what we can do to adjust for the new year as well as how we can build on our successes from 2023! Thank you to the NACLB for another successful conference and thank you to all of our broker and client relationships for all that you do. We are grateful to serve you!


Three Female-Owned Michigan Dispensaries Receive Funding

In June of 2023, our client closed on a loan to fund the acquisition of three cannabis dispensaries, as well as to provide the working capital needed to not only stock each of the dispensaries with necessary inventory but to also improve overall curb appeal of each dispensary. The requested loan amount for this deal was $7,350,000 across the three dispensaries.

The properties are located within three cities in Michigan including Spaulding, Manistee, and Benzonia. These properties are female owned and this deal was able to save 36 jobs! We are so proud to have been able to provide the funding needed to bring their inventory up-to-date, increase their curb appeal for their locations as well as save valuable jobs in these communities. 

Want to learn more about we can get you the funding you need to reach your commercial investment goals? Inquire today on our website by clicking here. 


Client closes on Cash Out Refinance for Golf Course in New York

Our client closed on the cash out refinance of a golf course and clubhouse located in Darien Center, New York in June of 2023. The loan proceeds from the cash out refinance will be used to pay off a note totaling an estimated $900,000. The remaining proceeds will be used as working capital as the client makes preparations for property updates and maintenance on the 18-hole, par 72 course as well as the clubhouse and other structures. 

The loan-to-value for this deal was 34% with the client requesting $1,050,000. The property sits on a total of 159.7 acres and the combined building size sits at 20,335 square feet.

We know that taking the time to find a direct lender who can fund your deal is "par for the course," but cut the search short and give Commercial Capital BIDCO a call today! We would be honored to talk through your deal and find the lending solution that suits your goals.

You can inquire today at: https://commercialcapitalbidco.com/apply/


Raw land in Montana to be developed into luxury "glamping" cabins

In May of 2023, our client closed on the purchase of raw land totaling 80 acres located in Columbia Falls, Montana. The vast property is located near the beautiful Glacier National Park as well as the ski resorts in Whitefish, Montana. Our client plans to develop a number of luxury “glamping” cabins and other housing accommodations in the Montana countryside - giving park-goers and vacationers ample opportunities for luxury while exploring the state's natural beauty. 

The requested loan amount for this deal was $1,110,000 and the property appraised for $1,850,000. The loan-to-value was 60%.


The Commercial Capital BIDCO Board of Directors

Commercial Capital BIDCO is grateful to have a Board of Directors that not only assists with guiding our company's growth, but also aides us in our efforts of being efficient and consistent with closing deals quickly. Our Board of Directors consists of 7 individuals representing different facets of the Commercial Lending industry - allowing us to have a broad range of expertise as well as strong accountability with each deal that crosses our desks.

You can learn more about each member of our Board of Directors below.

 

Thomas “Toby” William Compton:

Mr. Compton is deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, responsible for Regulatory Boards, Insurance, Securities, and TennCare Oversight. He was promoted to this role in 2021 after having served as assistant commissioner for the Regulatory Boards.  He is the former president and CEO of Associated Builders & Contractors, Greater Tennessee Chapter. In this role he was responsible for managing government relations on the state and local levels, membership services and development, oversight of craft training school, and oversight of office and staff in Knoxville, Tennessee. Mr. Compton assumed this position in 2015, following a two-year position as executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Authority for Nashville and Davidson County. As head of the Sports Authority, Mr. Compton was responsible for oversight, capital upgrades, operational assistance, contract management and operational agreements for LP Field, Bridgestone Arena, First Tennessee Park, and Ford Ice Center. From 2011-2013, he was director of strategy and business development for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development where he directed strategy initiatives for the department, recruited business and industry to Tennessee, and undertook special projects assigned by the commissioner. From 2007-2011, he was senior advisor and legislative director to the Office of the Mayor, Nashville and Davidson County. He advised Mayor Karl Dean on legislation, policy, strategic planning, board and commission appointments, coalition building, satellite cities, special projects, crisis management and other public affairs.  In addition, he served as senior campaign advisor to Mayor Dean’s 2007 and 2011 elections. Other positions have included, prior to 2007, director of marketing and communications for Snappy Auctions; executive director for Associated General Contractors of Tennessee; associate in The Ingram Group; and account executive for Gish, Sherwood & Friends (now GS&F). He earned his Master of Science in Public Service Management in 2011 from Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, graduating magna cum laude, and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communications in 2000 from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Compton continues to serve both Cumberland and Lipscomb as an adjunct professor in political communications and political diplomacy and advocacy. Mr. Compton has also studied at the Université du Québec á Chicoutimi and has continued to enhance his education and experience by attending numerous workshops, institutes, academies, and courses. His board service has spanned numerous personal and professional interests, from charities to sports groups, and his civic involvement includes work for the March of Dimes, being a mentor, his neighborhood association, and Hands on Nashville. In addition, Mr. Compton runs his own consulting practice specializing in public affairs issues, management, government and community relations, strategic communications, leadership, and strategy.  Mr. Compton lives in Nashville. He serves on the Governance and Compensation Committee and the Audit Committee of the Board.

 

Kathryn Reed Edge:

Katie Edge joined the Board on January 1, 2020, following her retirement from the practice of law at the end of 2019. Ms. Edge served as corporate and regulatory counsel to BIDCO (in organization), but she has not provided legal services to BIDCO or its affiliates since her retirement. She serves on each of the Board’s committees and as Board Secretary. Ms. Edge is a graduate of George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University (BA, 1967) and the Nashville School of Law (JD, 1983). In between college and law school, she taught high school English, theater, and journalism in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, public and private schools. During law school, Ms. Edge worked full-time for Earl Swensson Architects in Nashville as an administrative assistant to the company’s president. Following law school, she was hired by the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions and advanced through the ranks in both legal and administrative roles, leaving state government in 1995 as the agency’s deputy commissioner. After leaving the agency, Ms. Edge was a partner in the law firms of Miller & Martin, PLLC (1995-2012) and Butler Snow, LLP (2012-2019) where she was active in practice group leadership roles. Between 1995 and 2019, she assisted in the formation of 28 de novo commercial banks, as well as numerous bank holding companies, trust companies, finance companies, and two other business and industrial development corporations. In addition, between 2008 and 2019, she counseled more than 30 banks and bank holding companies operating under informal and formal supervisory actions. Among other leadership roles, she has served as president of three bar associations, including the Tennessee Bar Association (2000-2001), and the local legal aid society, and as Board chairperson for the Center for Non-Profit Management in Nashville. Katie moved from Nashville to Austin, Texas in early January 2020 to enjoy her grandchildren in retirement.

 

Jeffrey B. Luker:

Jeff Luker, Vice-Chairman of BIDCO’s Board of Directors, also serves as the Chief Lending and Operations Officer for BIDCO and as a member of the Credit and Investment Committee. He is principally responsible for growing and developing all lender relationships, including conducting site visits to evaluate collateral, and personally meeting borrowers and guarantors. Mr. Luker is a 2006 graduate of the University of Alabama with a BS in Business Management.  He is also a 2023 graduate of the LSU School of Banking. Mr. Luker spent seven years in the automobile industry in sales management and finance in Texas before moving to Tennessee to work with Alternative Capital Solutions, LLC, and help organize and manage BIDCO. Jeff and his family live in Franklin, Tennessee.

 

Terry E. Luker:

Terry Luker, Chairman, President, and CEO of BIDCO, is also the managing member of BIDCO’s affiliates, Alternative Capital Solutions, LLC and President and CEO of BancAccess, Inc. He chairs the Credit and Investment Committee of the Board. Mr. Luker’s expertise is in deal structure and creative financing options, including real estate acquisition, facilities construction, inventory floor plans, and directing finance departments. Mr. Luker’s network of commercial lenders, brokers, and business owners, together with his many years of creating financing options for start-ups, bring great value to BIDCO. Terry’s business philosophies are detailed in two business books he authored, Yes! How to Get the Funding You Need for Your Business and Flourish. He and his family live in Franklin, Tennessee.

 

Michael Winston Sheridan:

Michael Sheridan joined the Board on July 25, 2022. He is chairman of BIDCO’s Governance and Compensation Committee and is a member of the Credit and Investment Committee. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, he earned his BA, cum laude, and his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree with honors from the University of Tennessee College of Law.  He was managing editor of the Tennessee Law Review. Mr. Sheridan is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and is a member of the Tennessee and Nashville bar associations and the Claims and Litigation Management Association. Michael began his legal career with the firm of Stokes & Bartholomew in Nashville in August 1987 and was a member of the firm’s business organization section, gaining experience in representing businesses of all sizes. In November 1991, he left the law firm to be the associate general counsel and assistant secretary of Comdata Network, Inc. in Brentwood, Tennessee. From November 1991 until May 1996, Mr. Sheridan was one of two in-house attorneys for this publicly traded company engaged in international funds transfer and other services for the transportation, gaming, leisure, and retail industries. In Tennessee Comdata was regulated by the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, giving Mr. Sheridan experience in working with the state regulator that also regulates BIDCO. He directed legal aspects of complete corporate refinancing in 1992, more than $300 million, including the sale of public high-yield debt, the sale of preferred stock, and the establishment of a $50 million revolving credit facility. This resulted in a flexible financial structure that allowed business growth and an annual savings of $7 million in interest expense. Mr. Sheridan was promoted to vice-president, counsel, and assistant secretary of Comdata in June 1996, and he was again promoted in January 1998 to senior vice-president, general counsel, and corporate secretary. From April 2007 until November 2007, he was the company’s executive vice-president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, reporting directly to the CEO. In November 2007, Mr. Sheridan was again promoted, this time to serve as executive vice-president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Comdata’s parent company, Ceridian Corporation where he managed legal aspects of the successful $5.4 billion transaction and accompanying transition from a public company to private equity ownership.  At Ceridian he was responsible for supporting the board of directors and the audit committee and reported directly to Ceridian’s chairman and CEO.  Michael returned to the private practice of law in July 2012 with the firm of Butler Snow, LLP in its Nashville office. He served as primary counsel to employers with respect to implementation and ramifications of the Affordable Care Act.  In a departure from his customary practice, he also served as production counsel for two independent films: Dixieland (2015) and Strange Weather (2016). Michael returned to the corporate world in January 2016 as the chief operating officer for Sopris Capital Holdings, Nashville and New York, NY. Sopris was a private equity firm affiliate providing capital and executive leadership within the tech-enabled and healthcare services industries. His roles in portfolio companies included executive vice-president for operations, Quovant; chief operating officer for Click Notices; and chief administrative officer for Office Works. Mr. Sheridan left Sopris in 2016 to become president of one of these portfolio companies, Quovant, Nashville, Tennessee. He was responsible for operations, finance, account management, human resources, benefits, and facilities. Quovant was a P-E backed technology company providing legal spend control and data analysis to Fortune 500 and other large companies. Mr. Sheridan spearheaded a successful exit for Quovant with its sale in January 2022 to Mitratech in Austin, Texas. Since January 2023 Michael serves as general counsel and corporate secretary for Community Brands, a global technology company with approximately 17,000 employees whose products support the missions of schools, non-profit organizations, and associations. In this role he manages the legal and regulatory affairs of the company. He and his wife live in Nashville and have two adult children.

 

Lisa Michelle Smiley, CPA:

Lisa Smiley joined the Board on July 25, 2022. She currently serves as chairperson of BIDCO’s Audit Committee and as a member of the Credit and Investment Committee. Ms. Smiley is a certified public accountant who serves as the director of external financial reporting and senior vice-president (2021-present) of FirstBank and its parent company, FB Financial Corporation, domiciled in Nashville, Tennessee. She has steadily progressed with FirstBank, beginning her career in April 2016 as director of external financial reporting (2016-2018), corporate controller and director of external financial reporting (2018-2020); and interim principal accounting officer (2020-2021). Ms. Smiley began her accounting career with Horne, LLP as an assurance intern in the summer of 2008. She graduated magna cum laude in 2009 from Union University, Jackson, Tennessee. She worked as an advanced staff auditor for Nestlé Market Audit, Saint Louis, Missouri, (January 2010 – November 2010) until she moved to BKD, LLP in Saint Louis. In September 2012, Ms. Smiley returned to Tennessee as an assurance manager with Horne, LLP where she was responsible for managing a team of professionals across Horne’s three offices, leaving Horne in 2016 to join FirstBank. Ms. Smiley lives in Nashville.

 

David Louis Travis, CPA:

David Travis joined the Board on August 18, 2022. He serves on BIDCO’s Audit Committee and Governance and Compensation Committee. Graduating summa cum laude from the University of Memphis in 1995, with a B.B.A in Accounting, Mr. Travis’s first professional employment was with Ernst & Young (1996-2006) as an audit senior manager. His expertise has been in leading audits of public and private companies in various industries. Among his audit clients were Dollar General Corporation, Healthcare Realty Trust, and Fruit of the Loom. In December 2006, Mr. Travis left the accounting firm to become senior vice-president and chief accounting officer of Healthcare Realty Trust Incorporated (NYSE:HR) and stayed with that company until July 2014 when he moved to MedEquities Realty Trust, Inc. (MRT) as senior vice-president and chief accounting officer.  MedEquities was a publicly traded, self-managed real estate investment trust with a diversified portfolio of healthcare investments totaling over $650 million. In 2019, MedEquities merged with Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE:OHI), commencing operations in the summer of 2014 upon completion of a $160 million private placement of equity. Mr. Travis left Omega in the summer of 2019 and joined National Health Investors, Inc. (NYSE:NHI), Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in May 2020, as its senior vice-president and chief accounting officer. Mr. Travis oversees all facets of the accounting and financial reporting functions for the publicly traded REIT with a real estate investment portfolio valued at more than $3 billion. He is the primary contact for quarterly communications with the REIT’s audit committee. Mr. Travis lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.