The call center business has been good to Howard County.
Verizon Wireless has announced plans to build one in Hanover on Coca-Cola Drive, near Routes 100 and 295.
The $22 million center is expected to house more than 300 new employees and workers from the company's regional headquarters in Laurel. When built, probably late this year, the center should be large enough to accommodate 1,100 workers, the company said.
The announcement comes on the heels of another call center opening, this one in the Columbia Gateway office park, where Bethesda-based CoStar Group set up shop in May. CoStar, which tracks commercial real estate activity nationwide, has brought 128 workers to its new operation, and it plans to have a total of 200 employees there by year's end.
"The hiring is still going on," said Mark Klionsky, a senior vice president at CoStar, which also has call centers in Bethesda and San Diego. "We went from zero to 128 people in the center. Some transferred from Bethesda, but most of them are new hires."
The workers are mostly researchers who call on brokers and owners to update the company's databases on the lease and sale status of properties.
In the same building, Nashville-based American Healthways Inc. is still looking for a few good nurses for its newest call center.
This month, about 60 registered nurses there started calling 20,000 randomly selected Medicare beneficiaries who have diabetes or congestive heart problems, offering advice on how to improve their health and head off costly hospital visits. They're taking part in a test program started by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in several regions.
By the end of August, American Healthways expects to have 184 full-time employees at its center.
Parking and Eating at BWI
The latest signs of expansion and renovation at Baltimore-Washington International Airport: more parking and more restaurants.
This week, the airport moved its Express Service Parking lot closer to the airport terminal to a location that helps drivers avoid several traffic lights and a light-rail crossing. It also added 12 shuttle buses to its Express Service Parking fleet.
The new 1,300-space lot at Elm Road and Aviation Boulevard is directly across from the nine-story BWI daily garage. The express parking lots are designed for passengers leaving vehicles for more than a day at the airport.
Meanwhile, inside the airport, BWI's new concessionaire has lured Bill Bateman's Bistro to the main terminal.
The concessionaire, BAA USA Inc., plans to nearly double the eating and shopping space at BWI, starting with the stores in the new $264 million wing built for Southwest Airlines. The rest will come in a renovation of the airport's existing facility.
'Green' Builder Wins Loan
The nonprofit Jim Rouse Entrepreneurial Fund, which helps finance Howard County start-up businesses, recently lent $100,000 to a Glen Burnie architectural consulting firm. The money should help Architectural Support Group Inc. relocate to Jessup along the Route 1 corridor, which the county has been trying to revitalize for years.
The entrepreneurial fund and its banking partner, M&T Bank, is lending the money for construction at 7761 Waterloo Rd. The fund provides term loans, available for a period of up to seven years, to emerging businesses.
"Our goal is to provide you with the ability to grow your business so you can graduate from our program and be 'bankable' to traditional financial institutions as quickly as possible," the fund says on its Web site.
Architectural Support Group consults on multi-family new construction and "green" buildings, or designs that are energy efficient, water-conserving and built in a way that minimizes the impact on the environment.
A Move for Maxim Healthcare
Maxim Healthcare, a provider of health care, medical staffing and wellness services, expects to move in the spring from its headquarters at Columbia Gateway to a larger space in the same office park.
The company's offices, now on Samuel Morse Drive, are about 55,000 square feet. Its new space, on Lee DeForest Drive off Columbia Gateway Drive, is about 25,000 square feet larger.
Athan Sunderland and Adam Nachlas of Manekin LLC represented Maxim, and Andy Andrews of Colliers Pinkard represented Abrams.
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