District Takes a Stab at Luring MCI Jobs from Fairfax
Reath, Viki, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
District officials will meet with MCI executives this week in an effort to persuade them to bring 2,000 new technology jobs now slated for Northern Virginia to the city.
City officials, who cited the delicate nature of the discussions in refusing to talk about their effort on the record, say they will do whatever is necessary to beat Virginia's best offer to bring the jobs to the Commonwealth.
MCI officials said last week that the scheduled takeover of the company by Jackson, Miss.-based WorldCom Inc. for $41.8 billion will not affect MCI's plans to build a facility for 2,000 employees at Westfields Corporate Center in Chantilly. They added that it is doubtful that they will bring those jobs to the District.
Officials at MCI say the company is the city's largest private employer and has no plans to remove any of the 1,000 employees currently working in three District locations. MCI has had its headquarters in the city since 1974.
Local real estate officials say the District will have a hard time wooing MCI to new facilities in the District, because D.C. land costs are several times higher than the $5 to $6 per buildable foot in Virginia, and because of the difficulty of transporting employees from the suburbs to the city.
District officials say they can overcome all obstacles, but declined to elaborate on the specifics or the time and place of the meeting.
The Mills Corp. of Arlington, owner and operator of super-regional, value and entertainment malls, increased funds from operations - a standard measure of operating performance for real estate investment trusts - to $74.1 million from $56.3 million in the fourth quarter of 1997, up 31.7 percent for the same period in 1996.
Mills, a REIT that owns, develops, leases and markets a portfolio totaling more than 13 million square feet in 11 states, trades as MLS on the New York Stock Exchange. …