First Service coming to Arundel

Relocation from Conn. adds 120 jobs by June

March 09, 2001|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

First Service Networks Inc., a maintenance services provider, said yesterday that it is in the process of moving its corporate headquarters from Stamford, Conn., to an Annapolis Junction office building.

The company, formerly known as Sure Air Ltd., will move or hire 120 workers by June. Most of them will work in a building in National Business Park.

The company has also leased space in a second building in Anne Arundel County that will be used as a 24-hour customer service center.

That center is expected to open in the next 30 days in Airport Square adjacent to Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

First Service Networks is a 35-year old company that offers site-management services such as air conditioning, electrical and telecommunications to corporate users in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The company uses the Internet and wireless technology to maintain customers' multisite operations and hook them up to independent service providers.

The company changed its name to reflect a wider range of services it provides.

Customers include Williams-Sonoma Inc., Xerox Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., according to the company's Web site.

A company official said First Service Networks planned the move to locate in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

"To meet increasing demands of First Service Networks' aggressive growth plans, we needed to relocate our corporate headquarters and 24-7 response center to a thriving area that would allow us to recruit, motivate and retain a class of employee that significantly exceeds the average," said John R. Nester, chief operating officer.

The "24-7 response center" is the 24-hour a day, seven-day a week service center.

"The Anne Arundel-Howard County area provides access to a fertile source of strong team members that can take advantage of a high quality of life at affordable prices," Nester said.

"Our strategic position between the beltways will also allow us to recruit between four markets and be close to major airports and interstate systems."

Recent financing

First Service Networks recently secured $35 million in private equity financing from investors led by Hunt Valley-based Grotech Capital and plans to expand rapidly.

The 44,909 square feet of leased space are in buildings controlled by Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT), which reported that both buildings are now full.

Randall M. Griffen, COPT's president and chief operating officer, said real estate brokers help to steer the company to Anne Arundel County.

Griffen said he believes that the county economic development office offered the company financial incentives, although that could not be immediately confirmed.

Griffen said COPT could accommodate the company's growth because COPT owns at least a dozen buildings in each park.

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