Countrywide Financial is buying a 420,000-square-foot office campus at 1000 Coit Road in Plano, Texas and planning to fill it with about 1,500 new employees, the Dallas Business Journal reported Friday.

This means that at least 6,500 of the 7,500 new jobs Countrywide pledged to add in Texas last year will be created in the Metroplex area of the state, instead of going to Austin or other Texas cities, the Journal reported.

“The new jobs in Plano will count toward our commitment to Texas,” Patrick Benton, managing director of corporate real estate at Countrywide’s California headquarters, told the Journal. “We will create at least 7,500 new jobs in the state – probably more. Texas is a great place to do business.”

The deal also will have a profound effect on the Plano office submarket, as the three-building Coit Road complex has sat empty since Alcatel vacated the property in mid-2003, the Journal reported.

The campus was acquired for $9.7 million nine months ago by Dallas-based Westmount Realty Capital and Buchanan Street Partners of Newport Beach, Calif., the Journal reported Terms of the sale to Countrywide weren’t disclosed, but local investment brokers told the Journal the sellers made a healthy profit on the flip.

The complex includes 180,000 square feet of office space, a 162,000-square-foot data center and 52,000 square feet of lab space, as well as a warehouse and full-service cafeteria, reports said.

The financial-services company is still hunting for more real estate to accommodate its Texas expansion, according to the Journal.

The company is also expanding into Florida, the financial services giant announced earlier this month. It has purchased two buildings in Tampa.

Countrywide 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.


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