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TAMPA, FL-The one-year-old, 290,101-sf Corporate Center III at International Plaza here is 100% leased and occupied after the joint venture owners signed Pasadena, CA-based Countrywide Home Loans to a 40,365-sf lease at the 10-story building. The Westshore office district property is owned by Crescent Brookdale Associates, a joint venture between Crescent Resources of Charlotte, NC and the Brookdale Group of Atlanta.

Countrywide is taking the space for five years and three months at an aggregate rent of $5.47 million. The average asking gross rent is $26 per sf. Brokers John Esposito and Cheri O’Neil of Studley’s local office negotiated for the tenant. Ron Ruffner of Crescent Resources represented the landlord.

Countrywide will be relocating in August from 25,000 sf at Cypress Center II at 5310 Cypress Center Dr. to its new space at 4221 West Boy Scout Blvd. where about 250 employees will be housed. Countrywide was at Cypress Center for a year.

Esposito says the tenant is making the move at this time for its correspondent lending division because it needs more space for its expanded operations and additional staff. At Corporate Center III, Countrywide will occupy the entire second floor and half of the first floor.

Countrywide officials scouted a total eight metro area properties before deciding on Corporate Center III at International Plaza, Esposito tells GlobeSt.com. The deal took six months to complete, from contract signing to closing. Esposito has represented Countrywide Home Loans in seven transactions to date, including finding new office quarters for the firm in Sarasota and space at another Westshore location.

Crescent Brookdale Associates was formed in 2001 with a startup portfolio of 10 newly constructed office buildings in five office parks at Tampa, Orlando and Atlanta totaling 1.6 million sf of class A rentable space developed by Crescent Resources. In Orlando, the buildings include One and Two Resource Square.

Crescent Resources is the managing partner in the joint venture. Duke Energy Corp. of Charlotte formed Crescent Resources 30 years ago as its real estate arm. Brookdale makes equity investments in suburban office properties.

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