Heritage approached Ashdown to find a lender that was willing to work with them and believed in their vision of bringing an affordable, environmentally sustainable cemetery to market. Cemetery land is unique as land with a Right of Internment on title cannot be developed into anything other than a cemetery, so it is only “worth” what a cemetery operator can sell the individual plots for. We needed to find a lender that believed in the Crean’s vision and could support them through to the final plot sale.
As the land could not be valued using traditional appraisal techniques, we worked with an appraiser to issue an appraisal that only considered the discounted cash flow of the revenue stream. We then structured the loan as if it was condo development, with the loan being paid back as the plots were sold. We went to market and found a lender that was willing to lend against this discounted cash flow, with a term that matched the projected sales of the cemetery. In the end, the lender believed in their long-term vision and gave them favourable pricing and terms to see their concept come to fruition.
“The guys at Ashdown were friendly and upfront from the start. After discussions and diligence, they came back to us with multiple interested lenders. When we were ready to proceed, they executed everything. We had a load off our plate and breathing room to continue our outreach to faith groups and non-profits- the communities that truly need the affordable burial space we are providing. A BIG thank you to Brad and Ryan!” – Trevor Crean, General Manager