Mara Geltzeiler, SVP, Centerline Capital

Centerline Capital Group, a subsidiary of Centerline Holding Company, recently hired Mara Geltzeiler as senior vice president for its Mortgage Banking Group. Before joining Centerline, Geltzeiler worked for Freddie Mac in their Northeast Region.

Mara Geltzeiler

By Jessica Fiur, News Editor

New York—Centerline Capital Group, a subsidiary of Centerline Holding Company, recently hired Mara Geltzeiler as senior vice president for its Mortgage Banking Group. Before joining Centerline, Geltzeiler worked for Freddie Mac in their Northeast Region.

MHN recently interviewed Geltzeiler about her strategies going forward for Centerline.

MHN: Congratulations on your new position! What are some of your strategies going forward?

Geltzeiler: My goal is to grow Centerline’s Freddie Mac platform. I had worked at Freddie Mac for the last four years and developed ties with management with the team over there, as well as learning the process and understanding how Freddie Mac kicks. To be able to join Centerline to help their team improve and enhance their platform to deliver the best service to their customers is really what I’m here to do.

MHN: How is Centerline competing in the market?

Geltzeiler: Well, they’re hiring people like me and Philip Melton who’s running our FHA and affordable housing team—tremendous experience on that side—as well as staffing up nationwide with some of the most experienced production teams. In addition to that they continue to diversify their platform. For instance we’re launching a JV equity fund so that we could provide not only debt, but equity financing on the conventional side to our customers. We’re partnering with Island Capital, which is a new relationship over the past two or three years, and we’re able to leverage our relationship with them to provide conduit lending, bridge financing and opportunities to purchase distressed assets. Just continuing to grow and diversify our platform is really where we see Centerline’s edge.

MHN: Do you see the banks trying to beat out Fannie and Freddie on interest rates?

Geltzeiler: No I don’t. In certain situations they can, but in most situations, because interest rates are so low today and the agencies provide long-term financing, banks don’t usually have a 10-year term. Just the way the market is today, people want to, for the most part, lock in their interest rates for 10 years if they can, and the banks can’t provide that option.

MHN: What is the state of capital for affordable housing?

Geltzeiler: Our affordable housing team is cranking out a tremendous amount of deals, especially with our new hire Philip Melton. Our tax credit equity funds closed $18.8 million dollars in 2011, and closed $119.25 million in investor tax equity. The first was proprietary, the second was multi-investor, so they’re generating a lot of business there, and we see that continuing to grow in the future.

MHN: Do you see any challenges facing the multifamily industry?

Geltzeiler: Multifamily markets have been through a lot nationwide in the last couple of years, but the markets are improving all through the country. People that had unfortunately had their homes foreclosed upon are moving into rental properties. For the most part, we’re seeing strong signs in multifamily fundamentals, and we’re very optimistic about the future growth of this sector.

MHN: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Geltzeiler: Bill Hyman, the head of mortgage banking, created [my] position for me—we’ve been cutting through red tape. It’s a brand new position for Centerline. We felt that my experience with Freddie Mac and my relationship there would bring value to the company and to our clients, so it’s a new position for Centerline and one that I think is going to be a huge advantage in the competitive market landscape in which we operate.