AOL Plans Facility Expansions

After much speculation, America Online Inc. Wednesday confirmed it has selected Prince William County, Va., as the site of a new $520 million technology center.

The company also plans to spend $80 million to construct two new buildings at its Loudoun County, Va., headquarters.

AOL is purchasing 25 acres of land in the Battlefield Business Park in Prince William County to construct a 220,000-square-foot technology center. The company expects to hire 175 new workers to staff the new center. Of that total, 125 will actually work at th ecenter and 50 others will perform support roles at other AOL facilities.

The new technology center will complement the company’s two existing centers in Reston and Dulles, Va. They will house computer systems that perform functions for all the company’s brands, including its flagship online service as well as CompuServe,, ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger.

AOL plans to install $400 million in computer equipment and peripherals in the new center.

AOL is also constructing two new buildings in Loudoun County that will provide an additional 400,000 square feet of space and house an additional 1,200 employees.

AOL recently finished a fourth building at its Dulles, Va., headquarters which will house 650 employees.

AOL Chairman Steve Case said the company is excited about the investments it is making in the region.

“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,” he said.

AOL will receive $1 million in grants — $500,000 from the state and an additional $500,000 from Prince William County. The funds will be used for site preparation and other expansion-related purposes.

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