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PHOENIX-Call it a merger of expanding opportunities. Phoenix-based Eastridge Cos. LLC has coupled with Concord Cos. LLC of Washington, DC, to form Concord Eastridge Inc., enabling both firms to pursue a shared goal of expanding property types on both sides of the Mississippi River.

“Our firm has always been traditionally focused on the development of education-related facilities. We felt after eight years of that devotion that we wanted to spread our wings and focus on other areas of public-private development,” Susan Eastridge, CEO of Concord Eastridge, tells GlobeSt.com.

The idea took root when Jeffery Arnold, now president of the merged company, last year bought out his two partners in Concord. Arnold, who also claimed a partnership stake in Eastridge, agreed with Susan Eastridge that their development goals would benefit from combining their resources. “It dovetailed nicely with their growth,” Eastridge says. “They’ve had projects in California, Colorado, Texas and Nevada.”

The buy-in costs are subject to financial disclosures, but Eastridge says she negotiated the merger as the 51% majority owner to preserve her legacy as a woman-owned business. With two regional headquarters in Phoenix and Washington, DC, the deal includes a Sacramento office that Eastridge opened a couple years ago. Additional offices are being considered for Southern California, Denver and either Florida or Georgia.

Concord Eastridge has wasted no time in dipping its toe into potentially large projects. The firm is one of three finalists vying for the $400-million, mixed-use ASU Arts and Business Gateway project at Arizona State University in Tempe. The ASU project will boast some two million sf of academic, residential, commercial and retail space spread across 13 acres next to the campus.

Founded in 1995, Concord Cos. has developed 15 million sf of commercial product, primarily along the East Coast. Eastridge Cos. was christened two years later in Phoenix with a strong focus on financing and developing private and public educational facilities nationwide. The firm’s preferred transaction size starts at $25 million although Eastridge notes they are gunning for much larger projects on par with the ASU bid.

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