Locust Point getting 80 jobs from Columbia

General Fiber to base new division at Tide Point

September 27, 2002|By Andrea K. Walker | Andrea K. Walker,SUN STAFF

General Fiber Communications announced yesterday that it will move 80 jobs from Columbia to a new divisional headquarters at the Tide Point office development in Locust Point.

The telecommunications company will sublease 21,000 square feet from, a Tide Point Internet company that has scaled back because of the economic downturn.

The new location will house General Fiber's integrated technology solutions division.

General Fiber officials weren't available for comment yesterday, but its real estate representative said the Pennsylvania-based company was attracted to the distinctiveness of Tide Point. Situated on the waterfront, the former soap-manufacturing plant has an industrial feel.

"They had to move out of the space they had because it didn't meet their needs," said Mark M. Deering, vice president and associate broker for MacKenzie/ONCOR International real estate, General Fiber's representative. "The question was whether they would stay in Columbia or move downtown. I think they liked the unique atmosphere that was created at Tide Point."

General Fiber expects to move in Nov. 1.

The Tide Point project, developed by Struever Bros., Eccles & Rouse Inc., was created as a high-tech hub but, because of the dot-com collapse last year, has become home to a variety of businesses, including a law firm and architects. leases 100,000 square feet in the development and had expected to expand. Instead, it has shrunk and sublease part of its office space.

In the past year, the company has sublease nearly 65,000 square feet to three tenants, including General Fiber, said T. Courtenay Jenkins, III, senior vice president at Trammell Crow Co., the real estate company that handled the transactions and represents

"They never occupied all of the space," Jenkins said. "This space is in semi-shell condition. They thought they were going to need it quickly. Then, of course, the brakes were put on."

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