Intermediate Capital Group Plc is among leveraged loan funds whose expansion into real estate financing this year may help hoteliers and main street retailers fill a $70 billion void left by banks paring risky loans. Blackstone Group LP’s Europe hotels owner got 150 million euros ($197 million) of mezzanine loans Dec. 13 from funds, reducing the amount it owes to senior bank lenders. Banks cut new U.K. commercial real estate lending by 69 percent last year as they repaired balance sheets battered by the financial crisis, a survey by De Montfort University showed. “The opportunity is huge,” said Philip Keller, chief financial officer at London-based Intermediate Capital, which made its first move into the market by buying a stake in U.K. real estate debt this month. “We see similar dynamics in the commercial property market to buyout financing, in that banks are sitting on massive property balance sheet which they have to reduce and that’s creating inefficiency in real estate financing.”