Announcements of news and developments affecting Washington area companies should be sent to Pamela Babcock, 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 Business.
The Calvert Companies Inc., a Lake Ridge, Va.-based hotel and real estate development company, has acquired the 523-room Franklin Inn hotel chain -- which has four locations in New York and New Jersey -- for $30 million.
The acquisition includes a restaurant, rights to the company name, slogan and logo, architectural and marketing plans and other assets. Robert C. Wilcox, president of Calvert, said annual revenue from the hotels is about $8.5 million.
"The hotels are in the upper tiers of the limited-service segment of the lodging industry," Wilcox said.
The facilities, located in suburbs of New York and at Newark Airport in New Jersey, are particularly attractive to the commercial traveler, he said.
Calvert plans to license the Franklin Inn name to other hotel owners and intends to be selective in granting affiliations, Wilcox said. "Since we are a private company, we will emphasize quality over quantity and avoid the numbers game pursued by some franchisers."
James S. Bugg, president of Decorating Den Systems Inc., has bought out his partners in the national franchise for an undisclosed amount. The move makes Bugg the sole owner of the Bethesda-based interior decorating firm.
Decorating Den stock was previously held by Steve and Valerie Bursten, who founded the company in Indianapolis in 1970.
In 1985, Bugg acquired a major share of the company's stock when he became president.
"After 18 years, it was a decision not lightly or easily made, but we believe it is a good decision for everyone," the Burstens said in a statement.
With the buyout, the Burstens acquired the rights to set up and develop Decorating Den franchises in California, where they now live.
Decorating Den goes to customers' homes in "ColorVans" that carry more than 3,000 samples. According to Bugg, retail sales for the company have grown from $10 million in 1985 to $26 million in 1987.
"It is our intention to grow even faster in the next three years through added support staff and systems with an infusion of additional capital," Bugg said.
The company has franchises in 25 regions in more than 40 states. Bugg plans to open overseas franchises later this year.
A new television program, "Montgomery County Means Business," will air on Montgomery Community Television at the end of February.
The show will be produced by Montgomery Channel Productions, a new division of the cable television station, in conjunction with the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.
The program will deal with local economic concerns, according to Robert McMillan, the show's producer. Topics will include transportation, high technology, biotechnology, tourism, agriculture and small business.
The premiere show, which will be cablecast on The Montgomery Channel (red-18 and blue-21), will feature child-care issues and corporate involvement.
Montgomery Community Television is a nonprofit, independent television company based in Rockville.
BDM International Inc., a McLean-based professional services company, has been awarded a $10 million contract to automate the assembly of airbag inflators, and the steering column modules that house them, at Morton Thiokol Inc.'s division in Utah.
The assemblies will be used by car makers.
The one-year contract will be performed by BDM's advanced manufacturing systems group in Albuquerque.
"This is a highly significant contract to BDM, reaffirming our commitment of serving our commercial clients with state-of-the-art technology in the manufacturing arena ... helping to plan and build factories of the future," said BDM President Earle C. Williams.
Two Bethesda law firms have merged. The merger of Paley, Rothman & Cooper with Goldstein, Blitz & Rosenberg was effective Jan. 1. The new firm is called Paley, Rothman, Rosenberg & Cooper and has 12 principals and eight associates.
A spokeswoman for the company said business development and growth in the county, particularly in the Bethesda area, was a major reason for the merger.
The firm provides counsel for business, tax, litigation and other general legal services.
Advanced Research Resources Organization of Bethesda, a subsidiary of Response Analysis Corp. of Princeton, N.J., was acquired by the University Research Corp. of Chevy Chase for an undisclosed amount.
With the acquisition, ARRO's 14 staff members have joined URC's staff of 150 at URC headquarters in Chevy Chase. ARRO's contracts are being transferred to URC.
"The extensive experience of ARRO personnel and their commitment to the improvement of the quality of life in the workplace will complement the strength and expertise of the URC staff," said Gary Jonas, chairman and chief executive officer of URC.
URC provides management development, training, research and evaluation to the public and private sector.
The company employs more than 250 people in 10 locations in the United States and abroad.