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WEST HILLS, CA—Countrywide Home Loans has signed a 10-year lease valued at about $34 million for 140,000 sf in the West Hills Corporate Village in this San Fernando Valley suburb of Los Angeles. The new space will house some of Countrywide’s business units currently in Simi Valley and Calabasas, says VP Patricia Poe, adding that the space vacated at the older facilities will be at least partially filled by new workers the lending and loan-serving giant will hire.In a way, West Hills Corporate Village has become a symbol of the way the technology industry has replaced aerospace as a key driver of the Southland’s economy. The once-mighty Hughes Aircraft Co. used the site for years, but closed it in 1994 as aerospace bottomed out.A joint venture of Beverly Hills-based Regent Properties Inc. and Burbank-based Shamrock Holdings of California Inc. bought the site after it sat vacant for years and converted it to a 420,000-sf suburban office park, which quickly snared one of the region’s most prized and fast-growing technology companies—Computer Associates—as an anchor tenant.Countrywide, one of the first big bankers to supplement its bricks-and-mortar operations with an online unit, was represented by LA-based Travers Realty. The LA offices of Julien J. Studley Inc. and Insignia/ESG Inc. represented the Regent-Shamrock partnership.

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