Benjamin Polen advises on complex real estate investments, with a focus on capital raising and off-market transactions. Mr. Polen specializes in structuring the right financing and solutions for difficult, challenging, and “hairy” real estate investments.
Benjamin Polen has published research on REITs and CMBS and is quoted by the media as an expert on real estate capital markets. A select sample of Polen’s research:
A 2013 Analysis of the Notable REIT-owned Manhattan Office Properties & Portfolios The inaugural version of this paper, published one year ago, observed a shift in ownership of New York office buildings from families to public real estate investment trusts (REITs). Market observers now see this trend accelerated by the possible initial public offering (IPO) of Empire State Realty Trust (ESB), a new REIT controlled by the Malkin and Wien families along with the Helmsley estate. This shift is driven by several factors which include estate taxes, division of assets among multiple heirs, and rules limiting the duration of estates.
A Comparative Analysis of the Notable REIT-owned Manhattan Office Properties & Portfolios is original research written by Ben Polen. This paper takes an in-depth look at the Manhattan holdings of SL Green, Vornado, Brookfield, and Boston Properties. The REIT performance is contrasted with that of the overall Manhattan office market. I also try to identify the primary drivers of successful REIT performance. For those interested in portfolio and building-level income, the paper includes estimated valuations and recent transactions.
The Impact of Distressed Real Estate Loans on CMBS Performance shows how distressed mortgages turn CMBS investor expectations upside down. In this original research by Ben Polen, the topics addressed include defaults, prepayments, the role of B-piece holders, tensions between special servicers and investors, and how these factors play out in values and distributions. Charts, graphs, and tables are included.
Discovering Distressed Assets explains how an understanding of Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) can open an investor’s eyes to a new universe of potential distressed investments that others fail to see. Whether looking for distressed assets, managing a loan workout, or monitoring a CMBS portfolio, there are strategic techniques that can be applied by a real estate practitioner to maximize access to useful information and reveal insights waiting to be discovered.