Archive for Saturday, April 23, 2005

Company signs 10-year lease

April 23, 2005

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Pearson Government Solutions announced in late March that it had signed a 10-year lease to remain at its leased campus in the East Hills Business Park, where it has grown into the Lawrence's largest private-sector employer after arriving in town a decade ago.

Pearson leases two buildings with a total of 195,000 square feet at East Hills, where 1,800 employees work in call centers that handle 30 government contracts.

"It's been a great place to do business, and everyone's accommodated our growth, so we're happy to stay there," said David Hakensen, a Pearson spokesman in Minneapolis. "We have a good work force there, we've got some great projects that we're doing there, so we're going to stay put."

The news came a week after Pearson launched its new National Contact Center for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a 36-employee center that handles inquiries regarding work place discrimination.

The buildings are owned by Douglas County Development Inc., a nonprofit consortium of banks that operates the park. The park is owned by Douglas County, and its infrastructure - including roads and sewers - is provided by the city of Lawrence.

Lynn Parman, director of economic development for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, declined to reveal financial terms of the new 10-year lease but did say it would continue to pay off for the community - through Pearson's continued investment and addition of jobs that help contribute to Lawrence's quality of life.

Pearson had been operating under three separate, shorter-term leases that were consolidated this month into a single lease that offers the company and the business park security for the coming decade, she said.

"It was a pretty competitive situation," Parman said. "They could have pretty easily moved those jobs to another facility. ...

"We wanted them to stay here and continue to grow here."

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