MCI center moving out of Towson

November 30, 1993|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,Staff Writer

MCI Communications Corp. announced yesterday that its Small Business Sales Center will leave Towson for new quarters near Baltimore-Washington International Airport as part of an expansion that will create 150 jobs.

A spokesman for the nation's second-largest long-distance telephone carrier said the move was the result of the "phenomenal, overwhelming success" of its Proof Positive account review program for small businesses. The center now employs about 250 people, mostly telephone sales representatives, at its Towson site.

The move to a 50,000-square-foot space on three floors at Airport Square will vacate about 25,000 square feet at Dulaney Center I at 849 Fairmount Ave. Mike Cerone, MCI's director of small business sales, said the move will be complete by Jan. 3

Towson's misfortune will be an economic boost for the BWI area, which has been troubled by high office vacancy rates, including several empty buildings in the Airport Square complex on Elkridge Road in Linthicum. The BWI area showed an 18.3 percent vacancy rate in the latest Spaulding & Slye survey, compared with a 15 percent rate in Towson.

"This is probably a significant deal for Airport Square," said Alex Montague, an associate at the Spaulding & Slye real estate firm. He said the project has had "persistent problems" but that leasing activity has picked up there recently.

Mr. Montague said that MCI had probably saved a significant amount by looking to the airport for its expanded quarters, but Mr. Cerone said that was an insignificant factor in the decision to relocate.

Rick Aspan, a spokesman for Washington-based MCI, said the Proof Positive service was launched in early June and has been well received by the company's small business customers.

He said Proof Positive provides customers with a detailed account review every 90 days, including a comparison of the customer's MCI bill and what the customer would have paid under a similar plan offered by AT&T.

The program does not include a price comparison with Sprint, he said.

Under the Proof Positive program, customers also receive an automatic credit if the review shows they would have spent less money under a different MCI plan, Mr. Aspan said.

According to MCI, people interested in applying for the new telephone sales jobs should call the center at 583-5470.

Mr. Aspan said the company will be filling those positions over the next 30-45 days.

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