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Bill Freehling is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Bill Freehling.

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A look at the Silver Cos.’ Florida operation

The Silver Cos.’ office in Boca Raton, Fla.

Most Fredericksburg-area residents think of the Silver Cos. as a real estate developer that has built retail and office centers throughout the region.

While that’s certainly a big part of what the firm does, said company President and CEO Larry Silver, it doesn’t represent the full picture.

Locally the company is in fact a true land developer, Silver said. But the business model at the company’s Florida office is quite different.

Larry Silver has had a home in the Boca Raton area for about 25 years and has lived there full time for the past decade. He opened the Florida office, which is also right off Interstate 95, after establishing his permanent residency there. About a dozen people work out of that office.

The Florida office handles some development work, including the memory care facility now being built next to the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. It also builds apartments and has its sights set on a potential complex in Stafford County’s Celebrate Virginia North development if it wins approval.

But the Florida office primarily focuses on real estate lending and investing.

Silver Capital, as the Florida operation is known, makes loans to real estate developers. The loans often carry both a regular interest payment and an equity stake in the project. Larry Silver said the developers that the company partners with like working with a financier who has experience on the development side as well.

Silver Capital also purchases properties outright. The company has a large real estate portfolio that includes investments in apartments, offices and retail developments in about 15 different U.S. states.

Larry Silver and company Chief Financial Officer Jesse Holshouser have dual roles with both Silver Capital and the Fredericksburg-area development business. But otherwise there is little overlap between the jobs being done in Fredericksburg and Boca Raton, though resources are shared as needed.

Silver Capital rarely makes loans to the company’s local development arm for its projects. The local arm usually uses traditional bank loans.

Larry Silver said he only invests in projects that he understands, such as apartments, hotels, offices, shopping centers and retirement communities.

Larry Silver said his father, late company founder Carl, didn’t get into the real estate financing business too much. But financing was always a part of his father’s various businesses, so Larry Silver said he grew up with a good understanding of how it works.

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