It’s been 25 years since Jeff Payne created Eleven Sound – the renowned sound-mixing and engineering studio in Santa Monica that he now co-owns with Jordan Meltzer – among his only regrets was that he hadn’t learned about the SBA 504 program sooner. “I wanted to buy a commercial property for Eleven Sound years ago because I knew it’d be a good investment,” he says. “But I didn’t know about the SBA 504 program, so I never thought I could afford to do it.”
Here’s how he and Jordan made their vision a reality with help from TMC Financing.
Post-pandemic business shifts lead to a sensible downsize in space
“From the time I started Eleven Sound in 1999 through the pandemic, the vast majority of our work was done onsite,” Jeff says, which is why they’d leased a 7,000-square-foot studio for years. “We had a great location and landlord, so for a really long time it worked for us.”
Then came the pandemic and, with it, many changes to how they accomplished their work – such as improved technology that enabled them to work remotely with directors and others.
“The changes during the pandemic stuck,” Jordan says. “A lot of people got used to working remotely and we realized pretty quickly that we didn’t need a huge studio space anymore.”
A conversation with a colleague leads to an SBA 504 loan
“Around the time we were considering our options for a different property, I spoke with a friend in New York City who built his own studio using an SBA 504 loan, which I’d never heard about,” Jeff says. “I asked my commercial bank and they put us in touch with TMC Financing. That’s when everything clicked.”
Jeff’s representative at the bank contacted TMC Business Development VP John Rockwell and soon, the SBA 504 process was underway.
The SBA 504’s stellar benefits made it an easy choice for Jeff and Jordan. SBA 504 deals include SBA-guaranteed financing up to $5 million, with no predetermined limit on the overall project cost. For an acquisition and renovation project like Eleven Sound, the down payment was only 10% (compared to 30-40% required for conventional commercial loans), with payment terms up to 25 years and a fixed interest rate, making monthly payments easy to budget.
The need for additional financing and another SBA loan from TMC
As with most construction projects during the pandemic, Eleven Sound ran into supply-chain issues, labor shortages, and other challenges. The project not only got delayed, but it became significantly more expensive, too.
Jeff says, “We were in a tough spot, because we were deep into the project and it was clear that we were going to exceed the total loan. That’s when John and the TMC team helped us secure an SBA Community Advantage loan to cover the rest. Without their help for the additional financing, I honestly don’t know what we’d have done.”
Today, with their new studio and a stellar portfolio of projects with many of the world’s best-known brands and clients, the future is bright for Eleven Sound.
“We love our new studio, it’s everything we hoped it would be. And we really can’t say enough about how great our experience was with the TMC team,” Jordan adds. “They were all-stars, there for us at every step. And when we hit a financial wall because of the pandemic, they came up with a workable solution that brought the project to the finish line.”
SBA loans from TMC can turn your dream into reality
“This has been one of the best moves for Eleven Sound and if you own a business, you have to look into the SBA 504 for your property, too, even if you think you can’t afford it. With the SBA 504, you probably can,” Jeff says. “And if you’re in TMC’s area, get in touch with them. They’ll make it work for you.”
Founded in 1981, TMC Financing is the leading provider of SBA 504 commercial real estate loans in the nation, funding projects worth over $14 billion across Arizona, California, Nevada, and Oregon. Over 7,000 businesses have benefited from this financing, resulting in the creation of an estimated 60,000 jobs. Contact us today to learn more.