America Online, Inc.
Governor Gilmore Announces America Online's Selection of Prince William County as Site for $520 Mill
-- AOL also announces $80 million for two new Loudoun County buildings--
Prince William County - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), the world’s leading interactive services company, has selected Prince William County as the site for a new $520 million technology center. America Online also announced plans to construct two new buildings worth $80 million at the company’s headquarters in Loudoun County.
"I couldn't be more delighted by the way America Online, the Commonwealth of Virginia and local officials have worked hand-in-hand to bring this new facility to Prince William County," Governor Gilmore said. "Through our unique partnership, we continue to drive a powerful engine of economic growth and prosperity in Northern Virginia, and our combined efforts have worked to expand the online frontier. I am proud that America Online recognizes the tremendous potential and opportunity in Virginia and has decided to locate this important new facility here."
"We’re very excited about expanding our investment in Northern Virginia through this new tech center in Prince William County as well as through the additional investments we’re making on our Dulles campus," America Online Chairman and CEO Steve Case added. "One of the major reasons for our success has been the vibrant online community we have helped create for our members. I’m proud that we're building an equally dynamic and prosperous off-line community in Northern Virginia with the continued support of our partners in Prince William, Loudoun, and Fairfax Counties."
America Online is purchasing approximately 25 acres of land in the Battlefield Business Park in Prince William County for the construction of the 220,000 square foot technology center, with the option to purchase additional adjoining land. The company expects to hire 175 new employees – 125 on-site and up to 50 more in support roles at other Virginia facilities – to staff the new tech center.
The new technology center will join America Online’s existing technology centers in Reston and Dulles, Virginia and will offer expansion space for the computer systems that support AOL’s family of brands: AOL, CompuServe, AOL Instant Messenger, AOL.COM, and ICQ. America Online plans to install $400 million in programmable computer equipment and peripherals in the new technology center. The new facility will have state-of-the-art systems for power distribution and telecommunications, including battery protection and diesel generators for power and fully redundant, self-healing fiber rings on the telecommunications side.
The overall infrastructure expansion plans for the company also include the ongoing construction of a national backbone network with distributed web-serving points across the U.S., increasing TeraPOP and Internet connections, and continued international expansion.
America Online’s two new buildings in Loudoun County will total 400,000 square feet and will house 1,200 additional employees. To date, America Online has invested and announced plans for future investments totaling more than $1.3 billion in Virginia and has hired more than 3,100 local employees. The company recently completed work on the fourth building at its Dulles headquarters, which will house 650 employees.
Governor Gilmore approved a grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund in the amount of $500,000 to assist Prince William County with site preparation. In addition, Prince William County supplied $500,000 in grants. In making the selection, America Online worked closely with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and officials from the Prince William County Department of Economic Development. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services to the company.
"This expansion further cements Virginia’s role as the Internet Capital of the World," Secretary of Technology Don Upson said. "America Online is an important part of our growing technology base in the Commonwealth and we’re pleased this international technology leader has chosen to remain in Virginia."
America Online, Inc. is the world’s leader in branded interactive services and content. America Online, Inc. operates two worldwide Internet online services: America Online, with more than 16 million members; and CompuServe, with approximately 2 million members. The company also operates AOL Studios, the world’s leading creator of original interactive content.
Other branded Internet services operated by America Online, Inc. include AOL.COM, the world’s most accessed Web site from home; Digital City, Inc., the #1 branded local content network and community guide on AOL and the Internet; AOL NetFind, AOL’s comprehensive guide to the Internet; AOL Instant Messenger, an instant messaging tool available on both AOL and the Internet; and ICQ, an instant communications and chat technology on the Internet.