Englewood Cliffs-based Kennedy Funding announced on May 25 that it closed a $2.3 million loan to Atlantic Ocean Partners LLC for a 60.48-acre tract on Playa Diamante, in the province of Maria Trinidad Sanchez in the Dominican Republic.
Loan proceeds will be used for debt payoff and working capital.
“Atlantic Ocean Partners came to Kennedy because they know firsthand that we have the knowledge, experience, and track record to close the deal,” said Kevin Wolfer, chief executive officer, Kennedy Funding. “We take great pride in knowing that our firm has garnered a worldwide reputation for closing loans when traditional lenders cannot.”
The site on Playa Diamante is approved for a mixed-use resort and residential development; the property is zoned for agricultural, residential, and touristic use. The borrower purchased the property outright for $4.945 million in 2008. Atlantic Ocean Partners plans to ultimately sell the property.
According to Wolfer, while the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed international tourism, the Dominican Republic will experience a resurgence in vacationers from all over the globe as virus transmission slows and when travel restrictions loosen. However, even with such uncertain circumstances, Kennedy Funding’s familiarity with the economic landscape of the Dominican Republic allowed them to say “yes” to Atlantic Ocean Partners’ loan request.
Playa Diamante is in a secluded, undeveloped area; the beach is well-known for white, sandy shores and warm water. It is easily accessible by bus and by vehicle via Route 5, a main thoroughfare on the Dominican Republic’s northern coast. Playa Diamante is also close by to renowned tourist destinations like Playa Grande Golf and Ocean Club and Orchid Bay.
“Tourism will come bouncing back after the COVID-19 pandemic ends,” Wolfer said.
Wolfer noted that banks and other conventional lenders are more reluctant to fund overseas ventures, as they would rather pursue low-risk stateside development opportunities and avoid the potentially challenging situations that may arise. As a result, foreign developers would be hard-pressed to find a U.S.-based traditional lender willing to take the risk.
“To close a loan outside the U.S., you must have a knowledge of local laws, regulations, and requirements. Each Caribbean nation has its own set of challenges,” adds Wolfer. “It’s rewarding when you can get another loan to the closing table.”
Kennedy has closed more than $3 billion in loans throughout the world, including in Jamaica, The Bahamas, Brazil, Belize, Colombia and Canada.
“We have consistently closed loans abroad for years, while other lenders flat-out say ‘no’ to these types of deals,” Wolfer said. “Through years of hands-on experience closing loans for all types of deals, we have shown time and again that we can help borrowers just like Atlantic Ocean Partners access the capital they need for lucrative opportunities around the world.”