Tech giant Amazon is growing its Denver footprint in a big way, taking on 98,000 square feet of space in a downtown office building to accommodate 400 new jobs it is creating in the metro area.
The Seattle-based e-commerce company — born selling books online, but with its fingers in seemingly everything these days — plans to hire the battalion of new workers to meet needs in its software and hardware engineering, cloud computing and advertising businesses, according to an announcement Tuesday morning.
The growth will more than double the company’s tech-side presence in the metro area. Amazon says it has 350 office workers in what it calls its “Denver tech hub” today. That includes people working in an advertising-focused office that opened in Boulder last year and in a temporary office in downtown Denver. Of the 400 new positions, most will be in Denver, but some will be stationed in the Boulder office, Amazon officials said Tuesday.
To make way for all the new hires, Amazon is readying an office space inside 1515 Wynkoop St., a Lower Downtown building that previously was home to Chipotle. Amazon first pulled a zoning permit covering two floors there in February, city records show. It expects to move in later this year, consolidating its Denver workforce under one roof in the process, company officials say.
“We’re excited to continue to grow and invest in the Denver area,” Dave Wood, the site lead for the Denver tech hub, said in a news release. “Our new office will offer our teams the convenience of a downtown location with an array of outdoor adventures just up the road.”
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When including workers at its logistics and distribution centers in Thornton, Aurora and Denver and retail businesses such as the Amazon 4-star store in Park Meadows Mall, and the Amazon Books location in Cherry Creek North district of Denver, the company is on its way to providing 3,500 full-time jobs in Colorado, according to Tuesday’s release. When including Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market locations in the equation, the company estimates it has invested $1.5 billion in infrastructure and employee pay in the state over the last three years.
“I’m so excited that Amazon is adding 400 more jobs in Colorado. We have a terrific workforce that continues to attract the ideas and businesses that thrive in a knowledge-based economy and we are a great place to do business,” said Gov. Jared Polis said of the expansion news in a statement Tuesday.
The Denver-Boulder area is one of 17 tech hubs Amazon operates across North America. The company covered reasons why it focuses on “decentralized innovation” in a blog post that went live Monday. Metro area universities with “excellent engineering programs” were highlighted as one reason why Amazon’s tech-side presence has shot up rapidly from the 25 or so people it had working in the Denver region in 2016.
Amazon passed over Colorado in its search for a regional headquarters location, dubbed HQ2, last year. At the time, Sam Bailey, the vice president of Metro Denver Economic Development. Corp. and the state’s main point of contact with Amazon during the HQ2 bid process, indicated there might be “follow-on investment opportunities with the company.”
“Amazon’s continued growth in metro Denver highlights the value in our investments in place-making, talent development, and global connectivity,” Bailey said in a statement Tuesday. “We are thrilled to partner with Amazon on this significant opportunity for our community.”
Updated April 30, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. This story has been updated with a comment from Gov. Jared Polis and to clarify that the new jobs being created will be divided between offices in Denver and Boulder.