Chubb to open facility at Montgomery Park

April 19, 2006|By JUNE ARNEY | JUNE ARNEY,SUN REPORTER

Chubb Corp., a New Jersey property and casualty insurance provider, will house its new processing center in the redeveloped Montgomery Park, bringing about 250 workers to the massive office building on the southwest fringe of Baltimore.

The insurer signed a 10-year lease for 45,000 square feet of office space in the former Montgomery Ward catalog warehouse beginning Sept. 1. The announcement was made yesterday at a breakfast held by the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore.

"Baltimore offers us a central location, with a competitive operating cost environment, as well as an excellent talent pool," said Mark Schussel, a Chubb spokesman. "The reason we selected that particular location is fantastic access to the highway, free parking, day care, the food court and fitness center. These are the type of amenities that will help us attract and maintain talented employees."

Chubb also found Baltimore's diverse work force appealing and liked the fact that Montgomery Park has "green" features, such as a system to recycle rain water, Schussel said.

Chubb's new East Coast operations center will bring about 210 new jobs to Baltimore. About 70 percent of its customer representatives are expected to come from the Baltimore area labor market, with hiring starting next month, Schussel said. It also will employ about 20 managers, about half of whom will come from the local market.

The insurance company also plans to shift to the new offices about 40 of the 90 employees who currently work in a commercial policy issuance center on St. Paul Place downtown, Schussel said. Between both Baltimore locations, the company will employ about 300.

"This is a great company and a great fit for Baltimore," said Christian S. Johansson, president and chief executive of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, a public-private partnership that markets the region. "Having Morgan Stanley, M&T Bank and Chubb insurance all decide to keep or add significant operations here is clearly a strong testament to the attractiveness of our region."

The Baltimore facility is twice the size of any of Chubb's other processing centers and will service 27 branches in the Eastern time zone. Close to $2 billion of Chubb's commercial premiums will flow through the center, Schussel said.

About 3,000 people currently work at the 1.3-million-square-foot Montgomery Park, with 700,000 square feet leased to tenants that include the Maryland Department of the Environment, M&T Bank and the Maryland State Lottery, according to David F. Tufaro, co-owner and co-developer of the office park.

june.arney@baltsun.com

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