Goldman Sachs Group Inc., seeking to take advantage of an untapped Federal Reserve program, may sell the first commercial mortgage bond since June 2008, backed by a $400 million loan to an Ohio property owner.

The five-year loan to Developers Diversified Realty Corp. from a unit of the New York banking company is secured by 28 shopping centers. It is to be used to repay debt on those properties and others and to reduce the outstanding amounts of credit facilities, Developers Diversified said last week.

Developers Diversified and Goldman Sachs are working with the Fed to qualify the loan for the government's program to unfreeze the $700 billion market for securities backed by commercial mortgages. The pipeline of issuers under the Fed's Term Asset-Backed Securities Facility, or Talf, has shrunk as unsecured debt markets opened up to real estate companies. This deal would be the first since Talf was opened in June to newly issued commercial-mortgage-backed securities.

"The DDR deal has been expected for months," said Aaron Bryson, an analyst at Barclays Capital in New York. "An actual close at reasonable terms would be a significant positive for new-issue Talf, which has been slow to get off the ground."

Sales of U.S. commercial-mortgage-backed debt slumped to $12.2 billion last year, from a record $237 billion in 2007, as the credit crisis sapped demand, choking off financing to borrowers with maturing debt, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. data.

The Talf program was started in March to revive the market for securities backed by consumer loans.

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