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Amera Mortgage

Amera Mortgage Corporation - Milford, MI

Amera Mortgage Corporation 517-768-1500

Cole Taylor Mortgage is hiring, expanding at Ann Arbor headquarters

It’s been eight months since Cole Taylor Bank moved its mortgage banking division’s headquarters to Ann Arbor, and the company — fueled by increased mortgage market share and improved margins — is significantly growing.

More than 250 employees now staff the office in the Northeast Corporate Center on Green Road, up from 115 employees when the division moved from Hamburg Township last year.

“We grew very significantly between 2011 and early 2012,” said Cole Taylor Mortgage President Willie Newman . “In November, sections of our space had no (cubicles), now you go in there and you can barely walk around.”

Newman spearheaded the launch of the mortgage unit for the Chicago-based bank in December 2009, right in the midst of the U.S. housing market meltdown.

His strategy: Enter the market at the bottom, not the top.

“We thought there was an opportunity for something to start up and start clean,” Newman explained. “It’s a clean sheet with none of the legacy issues, no old technology, no loans, delinquencies or the issues people read about.

In the Know: Pei Wei launches in Restaurant Row

Sitting at a table nearby, Tonia Brock and her dinner companion, transplants from Knoxville, Tennessee, enjoyed Blazing Bangkok Peanut Noodles, a spicy dish they thought was delicious.

“Today we tried something new and it was really, really tasty. It had a lot of flavor to it,” she said.

Brock also enjoyed the environment and new area location of Pei Wei, a chain created in 2000 by P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.

►  PHOTOS: Pei Wei opens in Restaurant Row

“I think it’s really nice out here on this corner because when we first got here, obviously there was nothing here and you would really have to drive all the way to P.F. Chang’s, and that’s a long way for somebody who wants to eat dinner in a short amount of time,” she said. “So, for all of these people, whether it be seasonal or fulltime residents, this is a great location here in East Naples.”