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PHOENIX- American Express, already one of this city’s largest employers, has identified an area in north Phoenix to build a campus that could have up to 1 million sf of office space.

The New York-based financial services giant has identified 90 acres in the master-planned community of Desert Ridge for the new facility. The company plans to bid on the state-owned land in November.

The first phase of construction calls for three office buildings totaling 460,000 sf. Speculation has swirled within the real estate community for some time that American Express was looking for a parcel large enough and centrally located enough to consolidate its 14 existing sites. The company employs more than 9,000 residents in metropolitan Phoenix.

The Desert Ridge site is close to many employees’ homes in Scottsdale and the northwest Valley, says Steve Reiher, director of public affairs for American Express. The campus would be just north of Loop 101, a major thoroughfare scheduled to be completed by 2002.

Desert Ridge is a 5,700-acre community adjacent to the Scottsdale border. The site American Express has in mind is near the southeast corner of 56th Street and Loop 101, not far from the Mayo Hospital.

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