bank that “loves dirt” makes $ 75 million in multi-family loans | Business Observer


A banker’s line of conduct – “We lend” – really does carry weight at Centennial Bank.

The Conway, Ark.-Based bank, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire Florida banks this decade, recently made three large multi-family loans in the Sarasota market. Two loans, one for $ 20 million and one for $ 30 million, are for joint ventures for luxury single-family rental housing projects. A project is on Lido Key; the other Key to the Nap. A third loan, of $ 25 million, is for a condominium project on Whitaker Bayou, just north of downtown Sarasota.

Centennial Bank, under the direction of its parent company, Home BancShares Inc., was founded 20 years ago. It now has $ 14.8 billion in assets, with sites in Arkansas, Florida, Southern Alabama and New York. From 2012 to 2015, it acquired three banks in the region: Bay Cities Bank, based in Tampa, an FDIC-assisted transaction from Heritage Bank of Florida in Lutz, and Florida Traditions Bank in Dade City.

Dennis McLean, Centennial’s senior commercial lender for the Southwest Florida market, says the bank has been aggressive, both in terms of the number and the personal aspect of a loan. On the numbers, the bank, he says, has taken riskier loans with developers who have a solid track record, starting small and hitting the $ 30 million and above level. On a personal level, McLean said key Centennial executives, including Chairman John Allison, have traveled to Sarasota on several occasions to meet with the main developers behind the recent loans.

“This bank can hit the big guys and keep the local vibe going,” McLean told Coffee Talk. “He loves doing loans on land and loans that a lot of banks won’t. It will take chances. “

The development team behind the luxury multi-family projects on Lido Key and Siesta Key is a joint venture between Casto Group and Anna Maria Island homebuilder Shawn Kaleta. McLean has worked with both entities for several years and believes the time is right for their project – homes that will be rented for between $ 5,000 and $ 15,000 per week during peak season. “Sarasota has become a global destination,” says McLean. “There is a high demand for luxury family properties like this, but little supply.

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