National Bank of Arizona’s Commercial Real Estate1 program is unique among financial institutions. “We have the benefit of having a $70 billion balance sheet that allows us to compete with larger national banks,” says Mark Stebbings, National Bank of Arizona’s executive vice president of specialty lending. “Yet, we have the flexibility and willingness to also focus on small local developers that typically fall below the radar of larger institutions. By being nimble and having a seasoned team, we can be strategic in how we approach not just our business, but each individual client.”
National Bank of Arizona bankers, Mark Stebbings, continues, have a remarkably diverse set of skills and because of that aren’t held to any single discipline in commercial real estate. “Our bankers can lend to large homebuilders, as well as focus on income-producing properties like industrial or office developments,” he says. “It takes knowledge and expertise to do that, but we have worked as a team to educate our bankers and portfolio managers in all areas of real estate to help them grow.”
Clients specialize in all areas of commercial real estate—including apartments, industrial, office, retail, hotels and single-family homebuilding—and have years of experience developing, owning and operating commercial real estate. “They’re also very well capitalized,” says Stebbings. “We have close to $2 billion in commercial real estate projects financed throughout the state, large and small.”
To assist commercial real estate investors who may be just entering the market or are beginning to grow their portfolios, the bank established the small commercial real estate program at the beginning of 2020. Designed for loans that are $3 million and less, the loans have strong sponsorship and minimal feasibility risk.
“The intent of the small commercial real estate program is to offer a product that is streamlined and can be analyzed and closed within a shorter period of time. We want to provide a product for our clients and prospects that meets our ‘simple, fast, safe’ goals.”
-Mark Stebbings, Executive Vice President of Specialty Lending
The product works well for commercial and industrial clients who own businesses but may also invest in commercial real estate. “It’s also a good fit for private banking clients,” he adds. “We do see some full-time commercial real estate investors who are focused on smaller projects, as well.”
Looking ahead, Stebbings says commercial real estate has been a big driver in our economy for years.
“Since 2008, we have seen more discipline in the market—we’re seeing less overbuilding and speculative development. That’s a good thing for our business. Arizona’s population continues to grow as do jobs, and with that comes demand for more commercial real estate projects and new housing developments,” Stebbings explains. “We’re a state that has reasonable taxes and a pro-business climate. That brings employers and jobs and results in an influx of people moving to our state. This just increases the demand for development in Arizona and will continue to aid in our growth.”
Though some sectors of commercial real estate, such as hospitality and retail, are struggling right now because of the pandemic, others, like multi-family, single-family and industrial, are especially vibrant, Stebbings says.
New entrants into the market, as well as existing local developers continue to look for opportunities here, he says, “as the fundamentals in Arizona are strong. Our state universities continue to grow and attract out-of-state students. Employers are seeing a talent pool from which they can draw to help support their needs. We’re set up very well to capitalize on opportunities in the market that I expect to continue for the foreseeable future.”
Story: Debra Gelbart
Photo: Mark Lipczynski
(1) Loans subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. See banker for details. NMLS#467014