The Maryland Port Administration is building an $18 million marine terminal and new-car processing complex for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. in the Fairfield section of Baltimore. The new facility will replace Toyota's cramped car-unloading area across the Patapsco River.
Under a $13.1 million contract, Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. of Baltimore will do the work on the 51-acre state-owned former site of the Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. Construction on the project will begin later this month and is scheduled to be completed by August of 1988.
Toyota's domestic marketing firm will sign a 15-year lease to operate the terminal.
"We needed to be able to more efficiently handle the current volume of cars that we receive," said Al Cabito, corporate import and distribution manager for Toyota. "And if sales slowed, we would need additional storage requirements that the Dundalk facility doesn't have."
Baltimore is the primary point of entry for Toyota's cars and trucks in the mid-Atlantic region. As a major point of entry for Japanese car manufacturers, the port brings in 405,000 cars each year.
Maryland officials rank Toyota as one of the port's most important customers, moving about 90,000 cars through the port each year, according to Mel Tansill, a spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration.
But with the declining value of the dollar and the resulting increase in the cost of foreign cars, foreign auto makers are anticipating the need to carry larger inventories of cars in the U.S. market.
Currently, new Toyotas that arrive at the Dundalk facility are quickly sent to dealers. Toyota only has 23 acres at the facility, providing very little storage space, and at times cars are damaged when they have to be moved around within the limited space, Cabito said. The new facility will have a body shop to repair cars damaged in the trip from Japan or while being unloaded.
When a new automobile comes into port, it is taken off the transport ship and run through an accessories facility, where air conditioning, audio equipment and any other port-installed options are put in, Cabito said.
These operations are done in port to allow "greater flexibility closer to the market," Cabito said. Toyota often orders a vehicle several months in advance, and may have to adjust it to last-minute market changes.
"At the Dundalk site, we would have to move the car around a lot more," Cabito said. "It was much more costly."
The main building will house a body shop, car wash and the accessorizing area. Other buildings will include a meeting place for stevedores, a guard house, and a dispatch building.
Under the contract, Whiting-Turner will widen an existing pier and construct several buildings. The company also will provide grading, paving, lighting and security fencing.
Last year, Toyota's port business generated about $15 million in revenue for Maryland.
"It's great for the area because automobiles are labor-intensive," Tansill said. "You get a lot of peripheral work out of this sort of thing."
Network Solutions Inc. of Vienna has received a $17 million contract to provide computer software integration and maintenance for ground-based space shuttle operations at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
As part of a team headed by International Business Machines Corp., Network Solutions will provide NASA with software programming and personnel to maintain the programs.
The two-year contract was awarded by IBM's Federal Systems Division as an addition to a $13 million contract Network Solutions already had with IBM.
Network Solutions said that, under the contract, it expects to double the number of systems programmers it has at the Johnson center from 34.
Last month, Network Solutions received a $28 million contract from the Air Force to provide local area networks for 42 Air Force Reserve installations across the United States.
Technology Applications Inc. of Alexandria has received a $2.3 million contract from the Navy to assist with the processing of foreign military sales for the Naval International Logistics Control Office in Philadelphia.
Under the contract, TAI will function as a clearinghouse for the NAVILCO sales operation by researching and correcting expenditure document errors. The company also will settle discrepancies in material deliveries submitted by foreign customers.
NAVILCO provides detailed program, supply, financial, accounting and reporting controls for the Navy Security Assistance Program.
TAI provides defense systems management, information systems, ship alteration and installation and integrated logistics support primarily to the Department of Defense, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Advanced Technology & Research Inc. of Laurel has expanded its advanced robotics capabilities by buying another Laurel-based robotics research firm, Interface Technology Inc., for an undisclosed amount.
Advanced Technology is a high-tech consulting company that works primarily with weapons, robotics and stress analysis for the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, the Bureau of Standards and NASA. The firm has a staff of 150 people in robotics research.
The purchase will enhance ATR's position in telerobotics -- robotics used in space -- according to George Stathopoulos, chief of the ATRs ordnance studies and support division. He said ITI primarily does work in telerobotics.
"ITI was a small company with just five employes that had the expertise that we wanted," Stathopoulos said. "Their technology represented quite a big interest to us."
Following the acquisition, Pat Stakem of Interface Technology was named head of Advanced Technology's space and robotics research division.
The Fairfax-based applied systems division of Contel Corp.'s federal systems sector has won a $10.2 million contract from the Air Force to design a wide band communications system for use between the Air Force's consolidated space operations center (CSOC) and satellite test center in Sunnyvale, Calif., and remote tracking stations in various locations around the world.
The award is the latest -- and largest -- addition to a contract for the program that now is worth about $200 million.
The contract is a significant one for Contel, according to Giles Sindewiz, the Contel division's vice president of space operations. "It indicates that CSOC is an evolving program that will go on for several years," Sindewiz said.
Glen-Gery Corp., a Wyomissing, Pa.-based brick-manufacturing firm with offices in the District, has purchased Capitol Concrete Pipe Co. Inc. of Laurel for an undisclosed amount. The new company will be known as Capitol Concrete Products.
"The concrete paving products manufactured at their facility are a perfect adjunct to our face and paving brick product lines," said Richard G. Boxall, president of Glen-Gery.
Capitol Concrete plans to improve its production capabilities while increasing the number of styles and colors of concrete paving stones it offers. It also will continue to produce concrete drain pipes.
Glen-Gery is the fifth-largest producer of bricks used for building exteriors in the United States.
A group of nine former Reagan administration officials, Capitol Hill aides, public relations executives and political operatives has formed The Jefferson Group, a new Washington-based public relations and marketing firm.
The firm will specialize in congressional and executive branch relations, government and international marketing, labor communications, public relations and issues management.
The firm will be interdisciplinary, with members working for all clients on a team basis. Mark Cowan, a former executive vice president at Hill & Knowlton and senior staff member at several government agencies, has been named president.
While each member of the firm is active in politics, the company will not be tied to individuals, political parties, or to partisan causes, according to William Keyserling, vice president of the company. Keyserling was director of Sen. Ernest F. Hollings' (D-S.C.) unsuccessful bid for the 1984 Democratic nomination for president.
"We use our resources to solve problems in Washington," Keyserling said. "To do so, you need to talk to both Ted Kennedy and Bob Dole."
Members of the new firm have experience both with the federal government and in the private sector, a blend that Cowan said gives Jefferson the "understanding to cut through the tape and to solve the myriad Washington problems."Announcements of news and developments affecting Washington area companies should be sent to M.B. Christie, Researcher, Business News Department, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Information must be received the Monday before publication to be considered for inclusion in Washington Busines