From BWI to Mexico City

The international terminal at Baltimore-Washington International Airport never took off, even after an expansion in 1984.

Its activity does not come close to that of its main competitor for overseas travel, Washington Dulles International Airport.

But it was BWI that landed Mexicana Airlines, which will begin daily nonstop service to Mexico City in December.

"One of the things that Dulles has going for it is its big international capability," Chris Foster, deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, said in a recent interview. "That's something BWI doesn't have much of. . . . We have to have more international flights if we really want to grow."

"Make no mistake about it, today we are announcing the addition of a major international destination," Robert L. Flanagan, the state's secretary of transportation, said in a statement last week.

Mexicana is joining six carriers serving nine international destinations from BWI. Dulles has 23 carriers serving 40 cities abroad.

Working against BWI's bid for more international flights: land constraints.

Dulles, built in open fields, has grown to 11,000 acres; BWI has 3,600. That leaves little room at BWI for runways long enough to support nonstop flights to the Pacific Rim because loaded jets cannot gain enough momentum for takeoff, said Neil Shpritz, former executive director of BWI Business Partnership Inc., a nonprofit development organization.

No Rouse Purge

The payroll may be shrinking at the former Rouse Co. headquarters.

But not by much.

So says John Bucksbaum, chief executive of General Growth Properties, which acquired Rouse last year. About 16 top Rouse managers have left since the sale, and some workers in the legal and accounting departments were lured away by other companies, Bucksbaum said.

But the Chicago-based mall developer is not forcing people out en masse from the white stucco building, which once housed 200 workers.

"We have said all along that we need these people," Bucksbaum said during an interview at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas.

"There will not be a bomb dropped that will eliminate Columbia overnight."

A Doughnut Factory

A group of local Dunkin' Donuts franchisees plans to open a doughnut-making plant in Elkridge by November with help from the Howard County Council.

The council expects to approve $5 million in industrial revenue bonds next week for the plant, which should create 75 jobs -- and 66,000 dozen doughnuts a week.

All nine franchisees will use the plant to supply doughnuts to the 41 stores they own in the Washington-Baltimore region.

Third Manekin Building

Manekin, a commercial real estate company in Columbia, recently broke ground on its third building, at Route 29 and Johns Hopkins Road in Laurel.

The Jackson Organization, a 200-employee market research firm that outgrew its headquarters at Columbia Gateway Drive, will move into the 20,000-square-foot space.

The company will occupy about 75 percent of the one-story building, said Cole Schnorf, Manekin's senior vice president and director of development. The company is scheduled to move in April.

Manekin bought the land about five years ago, when it was constructing the 44,000-square-foot building now occupied by Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory. "We had a couple of acres more than we needed," Schnorf said. So it built office space for the Tai Sophia Institute and is constructing the building for the Jackson Organization.

-- DINA ELBOGHDADY

Have some business news about Howard County? Send an e-mail to elboghdadyd@washpost.com.