Though the lending game remains the same in 2000, many of the players have changed. SCW's third annual ranking of the Top Retail Lenders is proof enough.

Whether they moved out of the rankings, shook out of the business altogether or merged with other companies, several lenders that made a splash in 1999 are no longer around.

Not so, Lehman Brothers. The New York-based direct lender remains in the survey's top spot, as it has for the past three years.

The company's total lending amount of $5 billion supported some of the year's most notable retail projects, including Ala Moana Center in Honolulu and Century City Mall in Los Angeles. However, Lehman Brothers' figures showed no growth over the previous year's lendings.

Companies did not meet projections Indeed, all of the companies that reappeared in this year's ranking originated a smaller retail loan amount in 1999 than projected.

On a more positive note, Horsham, Pa.-based GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. brought in its best figures yet. With $1.6 billion in loans, the 7-year-old company came quite close to achieving its 1999 goal of $2 billion, making GMAC this year's biggest mover. The company ranks No. 2 this year, as opposed to its previous slot at No. 7.

This year, the top 10 direct lenders accounted for approximately $22 billion in loans.

Intermediaries ranked In addition to the Top 25 Retail Lenders, SCW ranks the Top 10 Intermediaries.

For the second year, Dallas-based Holliday Fenoglio Fowler heads the list, reporting $1.9 billion in financing arrangements for retail projects across the United States in 1999.

Houston-based L.J. Melody claims the No. 2 position, with $1.7 billion in total retail dollars arranged.

Survey respondents were instructed to focus their reporting on the total dollar amount committed or arranged during 1999 only for retail projects (strip centers, regional malls, freestanding stores, etc.)

Most respondents are active across the various commercial real estate property types.