Denver city officials wanted to bring “HQ2,” the proposed second headquarters for Amazon, to several fast-growing neighborhoods around Denver.
They failed, of course, as Amazon is instead splitting its new offices between the New York City and Washington, D.C., areas. But the city’s selections show where leaders see opportunities for new development.
The city of Denver proposed sites in the following areas, according to a September 2017 map released by city officials last week:
- The northeast side of the River North district. The site was near the 38th and Blake transit station, where developers and city officials have grand plans.
- The Central Business District and Central Platte Valley. This site appeared to be near the Platte River and the current Elitch Gardens site. It is not clear whether the potentially huge River Mile development was involved. A representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
- Interstate 25 and Broadway, a rapidly redeveloping area near a rail station.
- Peña Station, a transit-oriented development area near Denver International Airport where Panasonic is working on a “smart city” concept.
- A transit-oriented development area near Stapleton, which appears to be around the Central Park Boulevard station.
Denver didn’t pitch Amazon alone. It joined in a regional effort with the private Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. The EDC pitched a total of 30 sites to Amazon, with a focus on eight, but has not disclosed their locations.
Denver officials declined to give the exact addresses of their proposals, citing the confidentiality of certain commercial data under the Colorado Open Records Act.
“The areas highlighted were indicative of the variety of choices available in our community, including both existing real estate and planned development ranging from a downtown setting, progressive urban lifestyle/innovation areas and technology employment centers to new urban experience areas,” wrote Derek Woodbury, spokesperson for the city’s Office of Economic Development, in an email.
“All areas offer excellent access to multiple modes of transportation, the metropolitan area’s workforce, and the tech and innovation community.”
The city never discussed specific incentive values for Amazon, according to economic development chief Eric Hiraga. Instead, he said, officials provided a standard “menu” of different types of incentives to discuss with Amazon.
The city provided details of the sites in response to records requests by The Denver Post and other media organizations.
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