Members of the Colorado Economic Development Commission and staff with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade discuss Project Charlie Brown, which could add 1,000 biotech jobs to Boulder County. Lucas High/BizWest.

Fortune 500 biotech firm could bring 1,000 jobs to Boulder County State agency offers $24.8M in tax incentives for potential $130M investment

DENVER — An unnamed Fortune 500 biotech company is considering investing more than $130 million in a new Boulder County operation that could employ as many 1,000 people.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission approved a tax incentive package Thursday worth $24.8 million in an effort to attract the project, currently known only as “Project Charlie Brown.”

It is the commission’s practice not to identify companies the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade is recruiting until incentives are accepted.

“This is a highly confidential project, and the client is very concerned about that confidentiality,” OEDIT director of global business development Michelle Hadwiger said.

Hadwiger described Project Charlie Brown as a publicly traded, “global Fortune 500 bioscience company providing innovative health-care solutions through research and development, commercialization and integration with health-care providers.”

The firm has four existing Colorado operations made up of three distinct business units, she said.

Those operations “will remain part of the Colorado economy regardless of the outcome” of Project Charlie Brown, for which Colorado is competing with Texas, Minnesota and Tennessee, Hadwiger said.

The 1,000 jobs created by the project — which are expected to include administrative, technical, manufacturing, distribution and managerial positions — will pay an average annual wage of nearly $137,000.

The Project Charlie Brown proposal calls for $95 million in exterior building construction investments, $23 million in tenant improvements and $15 million in equipment.

“That’s quite a project for the state,” EDC chairwoman Carrie Schiff said. “So best of luck, and I hope it works out.”

According to a Hadwiger, “the project is contingent upon both the state of Colorado and the city where the project would be located providing significant economic incentives in order to move forward.”

The home city of the project has not been disclosed, however Hadwiger said that municipality is willing to provide a series of tax incentives and building-permit rebates.

The biotech scene has been extremely active in Boulder County recently. Fortune 500 firm Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) in July completed its $11 billion acquisition of Boulder-based Array BioPharma Inc.

And Swiss biologics firm AveXis, a Novartis company, purchased the former AstraZeneca LP facility in Longmont for $14.6 million.

This is the second time in as many months that the EDC has approved a major incentive package to lure a Fortune 500 company to invest in Boulder County.

In July, the commission gave the go-ahead to a nearly $4.3-million tax incentive package Tuesday to entice an unnamed company — known as “Project Salvo” — to move forward with a $100 million expansion project. There is reason to believe Project Salvo refers to Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE: EMR), which operates subsidiary Micro Motion Inc. in Boulder’s Gunbarrel neighborhood.

DENVER — An unnamed Fortune 500 biotech company is considering investing more than $130 million in a new Boulder County operation that could employ as many 1,000 people.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission approved a tax incentive package Thursday worth $24.8 million in an effort to attract the project, currently known only as “Project Charlie Brown.”

It is the commission’s practice not to identify companies the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade is recruiting until incentives are accepted.

“This is a highly confidential project, and the client is very concerned about that confidentiality,” OEDIT director of global business development Michelle Hadwiger said.

Hadwiger described Project Charlie Brown as a publicly traded, “global Fortune 500 bioscience company providing innovative health-care solutions through research and development, commercialization and integration with health-care providers.”

The firm has four existing Colorado operations made up of three distinct business units, she said.

Those operations “will remain part of the Colorado economy regardless of the outcome” of Project Charlie Brown, for which Colorado is competing with Texas, Minnesota and Tennessee, Hadwiger said.

The 1,000 jobs created by the project — which are expected to include administrative, technical, manufacturing, distribution and managerial positions — will pay an average annual wage of nearly $137,000.

The Project Charlie Brown proposal calls for $95 million in exterior building construction investments, $23 million in tenant improvements and $15 million in equipment.

“That’s quite a project for the state,” EDC chairwoman Carrie Schiff said. “So best of luck, and I hope it works out.”

According to a Hadwiger, “the project is…