Computer Associates Cleared for Dulles Landing

Computer Associates Cleared for Dulles Landing

By Bob Starzynski
Staff Writer

Computer Associates International Inc., one of the world's largest business software companies, will consolidate its Washington area operations in a new regional facility next year, company officials said this week.

The company, based in Islandia, N.Y., will almost double its current local office space to 235,000 square feet when it brings together several offices now spread around Reston and Herndon, Va. The new office in Herndon will house all 500 of Computer Associates' area employees with room for an additional 500.

The Jan. 19 announcement by Computer Associates comes on the heels of other information technology companies' moves to establish large offices near Dulles International Airport.

Both Washington-based MCI Communications Corp. and Jackson, Miss.-based WorldCom Inc., plan to move their Internet businesses to the same Dulles neighborhood. WorldCom is now in the process of buying MCI, a deal that is expected to go through later this year.

Last week, MCI officials confirmed that the telecommunications giant will build a new 2,000-employee office complex near Dulles.

In December, WorldCom, said that it will build a campus in Loudoun County, near Dulles. That campus will have 1 million square feet of office space for starters and will house as many as 3,000 employees.

MCI's 400,000-square-foot facility and WorldCom's complex, for which a site has not yet been identified, should both be completed next year.

Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle Corp. announced plans to build a new facility in the Dulles Corridor. Company officials said proximity to Dulles Airport was a consideration in their decision.

Also, executives with Baan Co., a software company based in the Netherlands, announced plans in October to build a campus close to Dulles for 1,000 employees.

"Dulles has reached critical mass," said Larry Rosenstrauch, director of economic development for Loudoun County. "The area has low [construction] costs, good infrastructure and good quality of life."

Dulles Airport is a bigger draw for companies than neighboring Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., because it has international flights, Rosenstrauch said. The airport lies on the line between Loudoun and Fairfax counties.

The Dulles Corridor, which stretches from Tysons Corner through Vienna, McLean, Reston and Herndon, has been a magnet for technology companies for more than 10 years. However, as traffic and rent increase around that area, companies continue to look further west, Rosenstrauch said.

Computer Associates' local operations serve both the government and commercial markets, according to Lisa Mars, a senior vice president for the company. While the company does not break out financial data for its government work, CA does "a lot of business with the government and it is a growing sector for us," she said.

The new six-story facility, to be developed and owned by New York-based Tishman Speyer/Travelers Real Estate Venture, does not have a scheduled groundbreaking or completion date. But Mars said that all of the employees should be moved in by late next year.

"Our Northern Virginia operations are among our fastest-growing," Mars said. "This is a good area for recruitment."

Other companies are taking advantage of the region's resources, too.

Dale Powell, president of Tysons Corner-based Irving Group, a commercial real estate company, said that large companies are outgrowing their space and have to build because of a lack of existing space.

"It's the start-up companies from the past several years that are now big employers," Powell said, citing the growth of Dulles-based America Online Inc. and McLean, Va.-based Nextel Communications.

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