In the early 2000’s, my wife was presented with an opportunity to help Carl Silver, a highly successful real estate developer from the Fredericksburg area, launch a private equity lending fund in the Richmond market. What was a short turn proposition quickly morphed into a 7 year run as head loan officer in the Richmond office. The company, Silver Construction Capital, was sold to Marquette Financial in 2007 where it was quickly changed into a traditional lending institution subject to the same rules and regulations governing the chartered banks and funds.
What Silver became for many was the partner for tax credit developers that they had always sought. Throughout the city, developers in the historic districts loved the Silver model of lending as it rewarded them for making good decisions and did not hamstring them with regulated lender’s guidelines. By underwriting a developer’s skill as much as individual deal’s merits, Silver was able to better assess risk in the execution of the project and thus, make better loan decisions. When 2008’s rapid market adjustment began, the loan portfolio that experienced no loan loss was the historic rehabilitation segment of the banks holdings.
With the exposure we were afforded at Silver to the development community, opportunities we created for One South that will help drive our business for the foreseeable future. The builders and developers in the Metro are a very tight group whose strengths and weakness as well as tendencies are not published anywhere. Knowing who has capacity, the correct skill set, the right scale as well as a belief that a certain opportunity is in the path of positive trending is one of the most valuable knowledge assets afforded any brokerage.
Mr. Silver, one of the most astute developers this state has ever seen, taught us a great deal and that knowledge base provides us a unique advantage.