Greystone Enters the Hospitality Biz

by Barbra Murray
The real estate lending, investment and advisory firm has formed a hospitality-focused lending practice led by industry veteran Gregory Forester.

Gregory Forester Greystone has extended its reach to a new sector with the recent launch of its hospitality-focused lending and investing practice. The New York City-based real estate lending, investment and advisory company has brought in industry veteran Gregory Forester to lead the new endeavor.

Greystone, primarily known as a multifamily and healthcare property lender, laid the groundwork for such an expansion of its non-agency lending activities a few years ago. “Greystone’s entry into the CMBS world in 2013 was designed to expand the types of properties we can finance for our clients. This new hospitality practice is an extension of that effort, one which has seen Greystone finance retail, office, warehouse, self-storage and industrial properties in the past several years,” Mark Jarrell, executive vice president of Greystone’s non-agency lending activities, told CPE.

As a managing director reporting to Jarrell, Forester will kick off the new practice with a focus on CMBS fixed- and floating-rate financing and the company’s EB-5 practice, which offers capital for new developments. Additionally, within the Greystone Bassuk Group, he will assume responsibility for client equity and capital structuring needs.

Forester is well equipped to take on the requisite multi-tasking, with a nearly 30-year history in debt transactions originated for balance sheet, CMBS and loan syndication executions. He joins Greystone after having served nearly 18 years at GE Capital Real Estate, where he most recently held the position of commercial leader and managing director for the company’s hotel lending group. However, he has more than big titles to substantiate his expertise; he has the numbers, too. During his career with GE Capital, Forester had direct involvement in the origination, transaction leadership and/or underwriting of more than $7.4 billion of funded investments.

“Effective hospitality lending requires deep domain expertise and a focused lens on national real estate trends and economic conditions,” Jarrell said. “U.S. hotel market fundamentals continue to improve year-over-year and transactional volume is strong. Combining Greystone’s existing national lending and investing footprint with a proven industry leader such as Greg seemed like a great way to pursue financing this specialized form of income-producing real estate for new and existing clients alike.”