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Countrywide May Add 2,500 AZ Jobs

Countrywide May Add 2,500 AZ JobsProposed Chandler property would house new employees

September 9, 2004

By COCO SALAZAR

In an effort to find a friendlier business climate and double its staff, Countrywide Financial Corp. announced it may expand its space in the Grand Canyon State and add thousands of mortgage jobs in the process.

The Calabasas, Calif.-headquartered lender said it has filed plans to build two new buildings in Chandler, Ariz. If approved, the two buildings will give Countrywide an additional 350,000 square feet of space that will allow the addition of over 2,500 central office jobs.

Countrywide remains heavily invested in corporate office space in Southern California, but for the past two years, it has focused on expanding central office facilities in other states — particularly Arizona and Texas — mainly due to the Golden State’s “unfriendly and high-cost business climate,” according to the announcement.

“In alignment with Countrywide’s ambitious strategies for continued rapid growth through this decade, we are particularly excited about the opportunity to expand our presence in Chandler,” said Patrick Benton, a company vice president, in a written statement. “As Countrywide has searched for new office locations in business-friendly areas outside of California, we have placed a good deal of focus on Arizona. Our experience with the City of Chandler and Lowe Enterprises during this time has been particularly productive.”

Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group reportedly developed the Chandler property that holds the two buildings Countrywide currently operates in.

“We currently have room in the two existing buildings for about 400 more employees,” spokesman Rick Simon said in an e-mailed statement to MortgageDaily.com. “Those jobs will probably be filled over the coming year or so.”

The planned central office jobs are part of the Countrywide’s projected growth to total employment of 80,000 by 2008 from its current number of 39,000, Simon said.

He could not confirm, however, what the timeframe was for staff additions and the tentative completion of the new buildings.

In July, a company spokeswoman told MortgageDaily.com that Countrywide plans to increase its sales staff to 10,000 by the end of the year from the current level of 8,960, and to 40,000 by the end of 2008.

Countrywide ranked seventh in Fortune magazine’s latest list of the 100 Fastest-Growing Companies.


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

email: s3celeste@aol.com

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