Software firm Vocus to move headquarters from Lanham to Beltsville
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The public relations software firm Vocus announced Tuesday it would be moving its headquarters from Lanham to Beltsville, a move of about 10 miles, and staying put in Prince George's County after considering other locations.
The new office space, set to be renovated beginning this summer, will be modeled after new urbanist developments such as Seaside, Fla., with offices and other facilities mirroring buildings found in a small town all within the confines of a large warehouse.
For example, the mailroom will be designed to resemble a post office. The finance department will take on the look of a bank. A lounge area will be designed like a spa.
"I think it's going to show people how you can create an environment that both makes employees more productive and makes their time at work more enjoyable," said Rick Rudman, president and chief executive of Vocus.
The new office, located in Ammendale Business Park, will cost between $7 million and $8 million to build out, he said. It will provide 93,000 square feet of space, almost double the room at the firm's current three-building headquarters. A couple of weeks ago, Vocus moved into a renovated office in College Park and expanded Herndon offices.
While the office's features will be finalized in the next couple of weeks, Rudman said, some space concepts that are being tossed around are a retro record store for employees to download music and drink coffee and a town center complete with benches and possibly a fountain. Vocus's current offices include a basketball court, pool and a 1950s-style diner.
"People are creative and energetic at different times of the day, and they need to relax and blow off steam at different times of the day, so that's what our environment supports," he said. "The new building is really just taking that to the next level."
The 10-year, $20 million lease agreement signed Tuesday signals the end of a year-long search for a new company home, Rudman said. Last year, another location in the county had been chosen, but the builder was unable to secure financing, he said.
Prince George's County Economic Development Corp. provided an incentive package that included a low-interest loan and tax credits for property and job creation to keep Vocus in the county. The package is valued at $1.1 million, according to Steve Vintz, the company's chief financial officer.
"We partnered with the state of Maryland to provide an attractive incentive package for this outstanding company to stay here in the county to utilize our educated workforce, supportive business environment and excellent infrastructure," said Kwasi Holman, president and chief executive of Prince George's County Economic Development Corp., in a press release.
The 400 Vocus employees that work at the company's headquarters could relocate to the new location as early as February 2011.