Financial Services Company Will Create 1,250 New Jobs Momentum is Building, Mesa del Sol is Living up to Promise
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. & CLEVELAND, Jan 17, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: FCEA) (NYSE: FCEB) announced today that Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, will locate a new 210,000-square-foot operations center at Mesa del Sol, a 12,900-acre, mixed-use project in Albuquerque, NM.
Mesa del Sol is being developed by Forest City Covington NM, LLC, a joint venture between Forest City NM, LLC, a subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, and Covington NM, LLC, an affiliate company of Covington Capital Corporation.
Fidelity, which expects to create 1,250 new jobs in Albuquerque, will begin its local operations this year and occupy its facility at the Mesa del Sol site in late 2008. The new campus will house the expansion of Fidelity Human Resources Services which provides corporate clients with payroll, health and welfare, and human resources services.
“Fidelity’s selection of this location for a major facility reflects its great confidence in New Mexico’s workforce and the quality of life provided at Mesa del Sol,” said Michael Daly, president of Forest City Covington. “It also offers testimony to the successful collaboration of the public and private sectors, at both the local and state levels, to support economic development that will benefit the entire state.
“The announcement by Fidelity has the potential to change the City of Albuquerque and the economy of New Mexico forever,” said Daly. “This means that there will be good-paying jobs for New Mexico’s college graduates. It’s going to have a positive and far-reaching effect on Mesa del Sol, the surrounding community and the state.”
With the addition of Fidelity, Mesa del Sol has begun to pay off on its economic development and job-creation commitments. But attracting good-paying jobs is not the only goal of the massive effort. The project will create a true mixed-use district with a balance between economic development and housing. At full build-out over the next 35 to 50 years, Mesa del Sol is expected to include 18 million square feet of commercial space, including industrial, office and retail, as well as 37,500 residential units. Grading for the first residential lots is expected to get under way in March 2008. Model homes are scheduled to be offered for sale by mid-2009 with homebuyers moving in by late 2009.
Nevertheless, economic development initiatives have captured the spotlight in Mesa del Sol’s early stages.
In early 2005, Mesa del Sol’s in-house economic development team began working along side state and local economic development organizations to identify and lure employers in targeted industry sectors. The effort bore its first fruit a few months later with announcement of the complex’s first structure – an 87,000-square-foot research, development and manufacturing facility for Albuquerque-based Advent Solar, Inc., a leading manufacturer of innovative solar cells and modules. Ground was broken in January 2006, and the LEED Certified building was completed later that year.
A key artery – University Blvd. – was completed in October 2006, providing sufficient infrastructure to support economic development activities as well as the first planned residential neighborhood.
Along the way, Albuquerque has become an extension of Hollywood, as Pacifica Ventures announced plans in July 2006 for Albuquerque Studios, a development of eight large soundstages, production office space and more on 50 acres at Mesa del Sol. The studios were completed in 2007, and feature films and television series are currently in production. Since then, Sony Pictures Imageworks has announced plans for a 100,000-square-foot digital production facility at Mesa del Sol.
During 2007, Mesa del Sol selected world-renowned architect Antoine Predock, AIA, of Albuquerque to design a 78,000-square-foot mixed-use town center building. The town center, which began construction this month, will be the hub for Mesa del Sol and will house a visitor center, business office space and retail businesses.
On Jan. 14, 2008, it was announced that SCHOTT AG, a global leader in glass and optics and one of the largest solar technology manufacturers in the world, will build a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility for SCHOTT Solar, Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary, on 80 acres at Mesa del Sol.
“With momentum continuing to build, Mesa del Sol has clearly demonstrated that it will live up to its tremendous promise,” said Daly. “We are extremely excited about an endeavor that will have a positive impact on this region for many generations to come.”
About Mesa del Sol
Mesa del Sol is a 12,900-acre mixed-use district located on Albuquerque’s south mesa. By combining job creation and sustainable urban community planning, Mesa del Sol will reflect a balance of environmental resources, economic objectives and social amenities in a community that is forward-looking with a highly defined sense of place.
Mesa del Sol is a true public/private partnership. In addition to Forest City Covington, NM, LLC, Mesa del Sol is being developed in conjunction with other partners, including the New Mexico State Land Office, the University of New Mexico, with the support of the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and the State of New Mexico.
About Forest City
Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is a $10 billion NYSE-listed national real estate company. The Company is principally engaged in the ownership, development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate and land throughout the United States.
Safe Harbor Language
Statements made in this news release that state the Company’s or management’s intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements. The Company’s actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements due to various risks, uncertainties and other factors. Real estate development risks and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the inability to secure sufficient financing on favorable terms, construction risks, increases in commodity costs, the inability to obtain required governmental permits and authorizations, the inability to secure tenants or anchors for the project, the withdrawal of a prospective anchor or project partner, opposition from third parties, competition in the target market, economic conditions in the target market, the adverse impact of environmental matters, softening of the housing market, and other risk factors as disclosed from time to time in the Company’s SEC filings, including but not limited to, the Company’s annual and quarterly reports.
SOURCE: Forest City Enterprises, Inc.
Mesa Del Sol:
Anne Monson, APR, 505-452-2600
Forest City Enterprises:
Media: Jeff Linton, 216-621-6060
Investors: Tom Kmiecik, 216-621-6060