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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.

GSP did not name the borrower, but it said the $32 million construction loan “on behalf of an institutional client” will complete a 180-unit project on La Brea Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. That project was called the Madrone when it was under construction by John Laing homes before Laing went bankrupt, according to previous reports on GlobeSt.com. The property is now owned by Resmark Equity Partners of Los Angeles, which has changed the name of the complex to the Avenue.

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