Harland, Ciena moving to Arundel Companies expect to add 500 workers by the end of 1997

Firms leaving Howard Co.

Shortage of space for expansion is cited in relocations

November 27, 1996|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

Faced with a shortage of available space in Howard County, two fast-growing companies are planning to shift operations to neighboring Anne Arundel County.

The pending moves by the Ciena Corp. and the John H. Harland Co. will be a boon for the county.

Combined, the two companies are expected to hire nearly 500 technology-oriented professionals and manufacturing workers by the end of next year.

Ciena, a 4-year-old developer and maker of advanced, high-capacity fiber-optic transmission systems for long-distance telephone companies, plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to the Airport Square complex in Linthicum by March.

Over the next year, it plans to hire more than 200.

Harland, the country's second-largest check printer, will relocate to the new Park 100 business park in Glen Burnie as part of a nationwide consolidation of its manufacturing operations.

In addition to the 130 workers the company will bring from Howard, Harland intends to hire more than 270 by the end of next year, according to the company and the county's economic development office.

"Harland chose the park primarily because of the abundant labor force in Anne Arundel and because they liked the Baltimore-Washington International Airport transportation systems," said John F. Wilhide, a vice president of CB Commercial Real Estate Group Inc., which represented developer Opus East LLC.

John Pensec, a Harland spokesman, said the 40-acre Park 100 offered the company the ability to build a facility to its specifications. Harland's lease payments on the 120,000-square-foot facility, slated for completion in July 1997, will total roughly $9 million through 2012.

The Park 100 facility will be one of seven regional plants nationwide, Pensec said.

With the move from Columbia, Harland will triple its space and serve customers from Richmond, Va., to Hartford, Conn.

In April, the company took a $92.5 million restructuring charge for the consolidation process.

Ciena's deal to move to 920 Elkridge Landing Road, a 97,000-square-foot building that has been vacant since Westinghouse Corp. left two years ago, represents one of the largest suburban office leases of 1996.

Its lease through 2007 is valued at roughly $15 million. Ciena and Aetna Life Insurance Co. intend to invest $2 million each to upgrade the 14-year-old building.

As many as 200 Ciena employees could be affected by the move.

"There wasn't anything available that was large enough or flexible enough in Howard County to accommodate them," said James S. Leanos, a vice president of Casey & Associates Inc., who together with Casey Senior Vice President Richard Pettingill negotiated on behalf of Ciena.

Once it has relocated to Anne Arundel, Ciena, which declined to comment on the move, plans to invest $2 million to retool its existing 50,000-square-foot headquarters in Savage for manufacturing.

For Aetna, the deal will eliminate more than half of its available space in three buildings known as International Landing that were taken over from the Airport Square Cos. in July.

"Ciena was attracted here, I believe, because the landlord was willing to structure a competitive transaction that responded to its needs in light speed," said L. Jamie Smith, a Colliers Pinkard vice president who together with Pinkard Vice President Andrew J. Smith represented Aetna.

Pub Date: 11/27/96

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