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SEATTLE-Washington Mutual is adding three more East Coast multifamily lending offices following the successful launch of an office in New York City last fall.

The locally based bank’s executive vice president in charge of multifamily lending Al Brooks says multifamily lending offices will open in Boston, Miami and Washington, DC by the end of the year and be staffed by loan consultants, underwriters, appraisers and closers who know those markets. “Having experienced local apartment experts enables us to rapidly grow our business,” says Brooks.

The new office openings are WaMu’s latest move to boost its multifamily lending presence in the East. Last fall, the bank opened an office in New York City that generated $450 million in applications and more than $70 million in closed loans in its first 120 days of operation. By the end of second quarter 2003, the office had closed over $300 million in loans for properties in the New York/New Jersey area.

Prior to opening the New York Office, the furthest East the company had ventured was Chicago. In addition to those two offices, the company has multifamily lending offices in Minneapolis, Denver, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Portland, OR and Seattle.

To oversee the expansion Eastward, WaMu recently hired Jim Whitehouse, most recently with Novato, CA-based GreenPoint Mortgage, where he was the Northeast regional sales director in charge of the retail mortgage division. Whitehouse was not immediately available for comment.

Washington Mutual is the leading multifamily lender in the country and ranks third in commercial mortgage lending. Originating more than $4.4 billion in loans for some 4,100 properties in 2002, the company ranks as the number one multifamily loan originator in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Orange County and San Diego.

Two weeks ago, the company announced plans to align its principal business units around the company’s primary customer groups of retail consumers and commercial clients. Craig Chapman, chief administrative officer and president of the Specialty Finance Group, was selected to manage all of the operating units responsible for serving the company’s commercial clients, including commercial banking, mortgage banker finance, home builder finance, multifamily lending and commercial real estate.

Prior to joining WaMu in 1998, Chapman served as president of AMRESCO Residential Mortgage Corp. in Irvine, CA, where he oversaw the production, operations, customer service and marketing for the organization’s retail and wholesale business. Earlier, Chapman spent 17 years with Household Finance Corp., where he served as president of Household International’s Canadian subsidiary in Toronto and held various other positions with the company.

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