- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Northern Virginia’s rapid evolution into a technology center took another step forward yesterday with the opening of a new Internet training center in Herndon.

Command Information Inc. opened the 4,000-square-foot center at 13655 Dulles Technology Drive to teach employees and clients how to use Internet Protocol version 6, the latest Internet data delivery system.

Twenty-two new buildings composing 1.5 million square feet of space are expected to open this year in Northern Virginia, many of them for technology ventures, according to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

About 915,000 square feet of new office space already has been delivered in the first half of this year, the development authority said.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who attended yesterday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, said Northern Virginia’s pro-business policies and proximity to government decision makers who award contracts make the region attractive to technology firms.

“We have a very favorable tax and regulatory environment,” Mr. Kaine said.

Virginia’s business taxes rank seventh-lowest in the nation, according to Moody’s Economy.com, an economic analysis firm.

So far this year, buildings that either were completed or are close to completion in Northern Virginia include Monument III at Worldgate in Herndon, the Bridgewater Corporate Center in Fairfax Center, Liberty Center 3 at Westfields in Chantilly and 12290 Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston. All of them have technology companies as tenants.

This week, Republic Property Trust completed a $48.3 million acquisition of Dulles Park Technology Center in Herndon from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers. IBM is one of the major tenants in the 181,000-square-foot complex.

Command Information, which leases 19,000 square feet in Herndon, plans to expand by another 4,000 to 5,000 square feet soon to keep up with demand for its Internet protocol services.

Company officials say they are benefiting from a wealth of venture-capital funding in the Washington area that continues to attract new technology companies to the region.

“We’re starting to see a continued growth in venture-capital funding,” said Bruce Ferber, Command Information’s chief financial officer.

“We brought with us almost $40 million of investment so far and we’re just getting started,” said Thomas W. Patterson, Command Information’s chief executive officer.

Bethesda venture-capital firm Novak Biddle Venture Partners plans to close next month on a $225 million fund to invest in new technology companies in the Washington region, which could free up funds for more office construction.

In other news …

• Beacon Capital Partners Inc. of Boston is selling at least two of the buildings it owns in Washington as part of a larger sale of a 7 million-square-foot portfolio with buildings in four cities. Its Washington properties include the 273,000-square-foot 2445 M St. building and the 412,000-square-foot 1615 L St. building, both in Northwest.

• Community Connections, a nonprofit mental heath agency, purchased the building it was renting at 801 Pennsylvania Ave. SE for $12.5 million. It bought the 60,741-square-foot office and retail building on Capitol Hill from 801 Pennsylvania Avenue Associates.

• Property Lines runs Thursdays. Call Tom Ramstack at 202/636-3180 or e-mail [email protected]

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