Spotlight on Inspiration - Robert Withers, President, M1 Capital Corp

Editor's Note: I am so happy to call most of the people highlighted in these profiles friends and colleagues, but I am also learning new things about them as I prepare these for publication. I hope you are enjoying this series as much as I am! Please let me know your thoughts or feel free to recommend someone to be profiled by sending an email to me at -- Risa Hoag

Robert Withers
M1 Capital Corp

How did you get to be in the job you have now?

That is a great story in itself!

What career did you think you would have when you were in high school?

Owning my own company.

What was the best advice you ever received?

Never quit - no matter how bad things get (and they will) - never quit!

What piece of advice would you give to college seniors?

Finish college, travel and find your passion - that will be the foundation for a great career!

Do you have a particular charity you support? And why?

Several - my favorite two are St Jude’s & Covenant House

Do you have a personal goal for 2023?

Live happier & healthier.

Do you feel you have a good work/life balance? If so, why or how did you achieve that?

Over the past few years I have been lucky to devote a lot of time to the really important aspects of my life - my family (kids) loved ones and friends. I would like to add new and exciting projects to my work life that could birth new businesses that will balance it out more - I like to be really busy!

When you feel stuck, how do you recharge yourself or get inspired?

I go for long walks, listen to a favorite podcast or reach out to a special mentor(s).

Do you have a hobby? If so, what is it and how did you get into it? (If not, what hobby would you like to take up?)

I need a hobby - gold is a good idea!

Do you have a habit you wish you could break?


Name one thing you are working towards in 2023.

Starting a commercial real estate investment fund.

What one thing would you try (or do) if you weren’t afraid?

Play basketball again - my right knee is shot!

If money wasn’t a concern, what would you be doing right now?

Investing in and helping young entrepreneurs and their businesses.

Name one or two of your favorite movies.

City of Angels - Avatar

Name one or two of your favorite books.

The DiVinci Code - it was better than the movie!

What do you want your legacy to be? Or how do you want to be remembered?

A great son, brother, dad and friend.


GUEST COLUMN: Captain to Crew: Prepare for Impact

bob_withers 1When commercial mortgage rates reset on your property, it can have a significant impact on that property’s ongoing performance. It’s never too early to prepare for the adjustment and plan proactive countermeasures. Commercial mortgage rates are often fixed for a period, typically five to 10 years, after which they reset to a new rate based on prevailing market conditions. Needless to say, the reset can potentially result in a substantial increase in the monthly mortgage payment. This is yet another reason why it’s important to receive sound advice from an experienced team that has the depth of knowledge necessary to help you make sound decisions.

Impact on Cash Flow

A commercial mortgage rate reset affects your holdings in several ways. First and foremost, the increased mortgage payment can clearly put a strain on the cash flow of the property. If the property is generating enough income to cover the new payment it may be able to weather the storm. However, if the property is not generating sufficient income, the increased payment may push it into negative cash flow territory, making it difficult to cover other expenses such as maintenance, taxes and insurance.

Property Value

Another potential effect of resetting commercial mortgage rates is a decrease in property value. If the property is not generating enough income to cover the new mortgage payment, the property may be forced to sell. The consequences could be a lower sales price, as potential buyers will take into account the increased mortgage payment when making an offer.

Impact on Lenders

The impact of resetting commercial mortgage rates can also be felt by the lenders who hold the mortgages. If a property is forced into default due to the inability to cover the new mortgage payment, the lender may be forced to foreclose on the property. This can create a loss for the lender, as the property might be sold for less than the outstanding mortgage balance. Lenders with less than $250 billion in assets (think Silicon Valley Bank) play an outsized role in the economy, accounting for 80% of commercial real estate lending and 45% of consumer lending. Small and midsize banks are expected to slow lending drastically in an effort to strengthen their balance sheets after the crisis. The pullback is likely to result in a quarter- to a half-percentage-point drag on G.D.P.

Protection Strategies

There are several strategies that property owners and lenders can employ to soften the impact of resetting commercial mortgage rates. One approach is to refinance the mortgage before the reset date. This allows the property owner to lock in a new rate, ideally lower than the reset rate, before the reset occurs. This is effective, but refinancing may not be an option if the property is not generating enough income, or if the owner has a poor credit history.

Another strategy is to renegotiate the current mortgage terms with the lender. This could include extending the loan term, reducing the interest rate, or both. This approach is more likely to succeed if the property owner has a good relationship with the lender and is able to demonstrate a track record of generating income from the property.

A third strategy is to sell the property before the reset date. This can be a viable option if the property has appreciated in value and can be sold for a profit. The downside of this approach is that selling a property can be a time-consuming process, and there is no guarantee that the property will sell for the desired price—or how quickly.

Bottom Line: Be Proactive

The resetting of a commercial mortgage rate is an unfortunate reality that has a significant impact on the ability of a property to remain performing. Property owners and lenders must be proactive in mitigating the impact by employing strategies such as refinancing, renegotiating mortgage terms or selling the property. By taking a proactive approach, owners and lenders can minimize the impact of resetting commercial mortgage rates and ensure the continued success of these properties.

Bridge Loan Financing Arranged by M1 Capitol Corp


Commercial Real Estate - What's Next?

Guest Writer - Robert Withers, President of M1 Capital Corp.

COVID-19’s impact on the local and national CRE market has decreased the relevance of CRE assets. Many assets simply don’t “work” in today’s post-pandemic environment. That doesn’t mean however that there isn’t a “life after death” for these locations. Indeed, they can hold much purpose, if you’re an owner or developer who’s thinking outside the box.

Some of these asset classes showed strain prior to the pandemic’s impact. For retail malls anchored by large, big-box retailers, the pandemic was just the final nail in the proverbial coffin. Stand alone, single-tenant retail properties, whose tenants could be restaurants, luxury retailers or even small grocers and bank locations, are all prime examples of properties that are perfect candidates for repurposing in many CRE markets.

Here are some examples of these types of properties:

  1. Local and regional malls – These types of properties were already feeling the pinch as their large anchor tenants reeled from slowing sales and store closures. Retailers like Macy’s, J.C. Penny, and Sears were hit hard by the growth of electronic commerce, losing many customers to the convenience of online shopping. This was only exacerbated by the on and off store closures and fear of public gatherings caused by the pandemic. Many of these properties have lost their tenants to these store closures and are ripe for repurposing.
  2. Medium and small retail “strip centers” – We have all seen them lining the roads. Usually, they consist of several retail stores (restaurants, hair or nail salons, general retail or small grocery stores), but recently what you may notice is the absence of the larger “non-big-box” anchor. It could have been a regional furniture retailer, larger national chain restaurant, etc. These properties are ripe for repurposing into a solution for whatever is needed on a local basis. It could be additional medical offices to support the local hospital, auto dealerships (the automobile industry has surged if you haven’t noticed), or just a revamping of the retail component of the center which is less reliant on the foot traffic previous retailers relied on from the larger anchor tenants. In the industry, they are called “destination tenants”, those that people will travel to because the services they provide are necessary in today’s environment and cannot be done online or because they provide a unique in-person experience.
  3. Small hotel/motel assets – This asset class is the one I am most personally excited about! With the floor plates already in place and room to repurpose, these privately owned 20-50-unit hotel/motel properties can be converted into multifamily rental housing to provide low-mid income housing solutions. Taking advantage of the already constructed floor plates and unit configurations of these properties can be an excellent opportunity for developers looking to focus their attention on this sector, providing a solution to a much-needed housing issue in the current market.

Mixed-use projects, incorporating retail, hotel, residential, and hospitality components, are already being planned for many of these types of properties, both regionally and nationally. Lenders are excited about the prospect of helping to finance these plans if the project is well-thought-out, the developers have a track record, and the demographics of the area support the project.

Again, financing for these types of projects, from the renovations for repurposing to the permanent mortgages provided to finance them, are readily available provided a plan, a resume of success, and the demographics to support it are there.

Financing interest for these projects has been notably positive, with lenders seeing the need in the market for low-medium income housing, dormitory-style solutions (for those near universities and colleges), and military housing.

The opportunities are out there, ready for creative sponsors with the capital to invest and experience in building successfully. The debt markets want to lend – and will if the project makes sense!


A leader in real estate financing for the past two decades, M1 Capital Corp. is based in White Plains, New York. The commercial mortgage professionals at M1 Capital Corp. work with clients one-on-one to ensure that they design a financial solution tailored specifically to meet a client’s unique needs and financial situation. M1 Capital Corp. specializes in acquisition, refinancing outstanding loans, restructuring current debt and delivering smart, effective solutions through a variety of loan options including commercial, hard money, SBA 504 and 7a programs, as well as SPEC Construction Financing, multifamily and commercial debt workouts.

Robert Withers, President and CEO of M1 Capital Corp., is a respected real estate finance professional with a superlative and successful 30-year track record of providing creative solutions for commercial real estate industry clients.

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