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CHANDLER, AZ-Countrywide Financial Corp. has paid $19.5 million for 200,300 sf in three industrial buildings near its one-year-old campus. The Calabasas, CA-based financial powerhouse intends to convert the structures into office space.

The just-bought trio, developed and sold by a partnership comprised of Dallas-based McShane Corp. and MetLife, are positioned on 25 acres at 2700, 2710 and 2730 W. Frye Road just east of the Price Freeway. “This is an expansion of Countrywide’s existing campus,” says Kevin Cosca, a senior associate with CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s Phoenix office. “The company bought these buildings because of their proximity to their existing facilities.”

Countrywide’s Chandler Commons Office Park will total 790,000 sf when it’s completed in 2006. Two buildings, totaling 350,000 sf, are under construction and two, with 154,700 sf are on line and filled. Cosca says acquiring the buildings was Countrywide’s only option to obtain adjacent space. “All the land around their campus has been bought up,” he explains.

Completed earlier this year, the trio was the first of four speculative buildings in McShane Chandler Park. “We were marketing them for lease or for sale,” Cosca says, adding all are in shell condition and will require renovation to convert them into office space. Countrywide’s plan also calls for adding 85,000 sf of mezzanine space to one structure. The 7.5 acres earmarked for the fourth building will be used as a parking lot, according to Cosca. He says the workforce numbers more than 900 employees, but the plan is to hire another 1,200 to 1,800, all positions ticketed to fill the McShane Chandler Park trio.

Cosca worked with Pete Wentis to represent McShane and MetLife. Countrywide was represented by Jim Travers of Travers Realty/Oncor International of Los Angeles and Karsten Peterson of Trammell Crow Co.’s Phoenix office.

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