After years of steady growth in its workforce, home loan lender Countrywide is planning a corporate expansion into Florida, the company said Thursday, with the purchase of two buildings in Tampa. The financial services giant added nearly 20 percent to its workforce in 2004 and has continued at that pace this year, bringing its total headcount to about 50,000. Countrywide also plans to nearly double its employees over the next five years. "In alignment with Countrywide's ambitious strategies for continued rapid growth through this decade, we have initiated searches for new office locations in business-friendly states, and we are particularly excited to make Florida our newest corporate facility home," said Patrick Benton, the company's managing director of corporate real estate administration. The company, through its primary subsidiary Countrywide Homes Loans, has purchased two buildings totaling more than 231,000 square feet situated on 15.2 acres of land near the Tampa Internati...
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