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LOS ANGELES-Nobody’s calling it a rip-roaring comeback, but those in the mortgage banking business are saying that signs of thawing continue, as illustrated by new loans of $56 million originated by locally based George Smith Partners and Venture West Funding, plus a new mortgage venture by PCCP. George Smith Partners, for example, arranged a $32 million apartment construction loan, while Venture West has arranged $23.7 million in refinancing of two conduit loans for two grocery anchored retail centers. PCCP, in a venture with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, will originate first mortgages to “take advantage of the lack of liquidity in the floating-rate commercial mortgage debt space,” El Segundo-based PCCP says.

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