Broomfield’s lures land DigitalGlobe

LONGMONT – DigitalGlobe Inc. plans to have room for 1,300 employees at a 400,000-square-foot global headquarters slated to open in mid-2015 in the North Park development in Broomfield, according to an economic development representative.

The satellite image company (NYSE: DGI) plans to move its headquarters from a building at 1601 Dry Creek Drive in Longmont to the new building on a 30-acre Broomfield campus in North Park, at Interstate 25 and Colorado Highway 7, according to Bo Martinez, the city and county of Broomfield’s economic development director.

Broomfield representatives offered DigitalGlobe a financial incentive package to relocate that has not been made public yet, Martinez said.

“They really liked our (pro)-business attitude and our business climate, and we had the best site for their global headquarters,” Martinez said.

Longmont representatives also offered DigitalGlobe an incentive package for an undisclosed amount.

DigitalGlobe’s new headquarters is expected to anchor a public-private research park called the Colorado Applied Research and Science Park, Martinez said. He said he envisions the park campus as one where scientific research and business research can work side by side.

“There are a lot of exciting things to come for North Park. We believe we can develop this area as the next Denver technology center,” Martinez said.

The DigitalGlobe move is expected to consolidate employees from the Longmont property, as well as a site in Northglenn and two other Colorado sites. Longmont is “disappointed” about the announced move but expects to continue to work with the company as long as it has employees at the existing location, said Wendi Nafziger, vice president at the Longmont Area Economic Council.

DigitalGlobe announced Thursday that it signed a letter of intent to move to the new Broomfield site. The company supplies satellite images to a variety of public and private entities in the United States and around the world.

The company bought rival GeoEye Inc. (nasdaq: GEOY) in Herndon, Virginia, earlier this year in a $900 million transaction. The combined company had more than 1,500 employees before the merger, with more than 900 of them at the Longmont headquarters site, as well as at a GeoEye office in Thornton.

DigitalGlobe got the OK for as much as $4.4 million in state tax rebates in June if the company creates 435 jobs in Colorado over the next five years, according to a spokesman at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Company representatives said at the time that they were looking at staying in Longmont or moving to Broomfield or Westminster to accommodate potential growth.

The new campus at the North Park development is being constructed by Opus Development Company LLC, a division of The Opus Group in Denver, DigitalGlobe said in a press statement. It’s being designed by RNL Design in Denver, with real estate and project management services by Cresa Denver. Real estate firm McWhinney in Loveland is developing the 935-acre North Park site.

DigitalGlobe will continue to maintain a presence in the Longmont location for “a period of time,” according to the press statement. A spokeswoman did not offer further details.

The company will continue to have offices in Virginia; in Tampa, Florida; in London and in Singapore, among others. DigitalGlobe Inc. earlier this month reported a 48 percent increase in revenue for the second quarter that ended June 30 compared with the same period a year ago.

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