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SHORT HILLS, NJ-Bridger Commercial Funding has opened a Northeast regional origination office here. The San Francisco-based provider of commercial real estate capital and balance sheet management services has also staffed up the office with a dozen professionals.

The new office, which will service a territory encompassing New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and northeastern Pennsylvania, is being headed by Gina Mackenzie, who takes the title of vice president and relationship manager. Mackenzie had spent the past seven years originating and underwriting CMBS loans for two Wall Street firms.

For Bridger, the move is part of the firm’s larger effort to expand its national CMBS loan origination platform for commercial banks, according to CEO Bob Schonefeld. “We are hiring additional staff in response to the sustained velocity in our business this year, and in anticipation of the expansion of our business in 2006,” Schonefeld says. “So far this year we’ve originated more CMBS loans with more bank clients, both old and new, than ever before.”

Besides the new office here, Bridger has been adding staff in both its Atlanta and Washington, DC offices, according to Schonefeld.

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