DENVER — Could 50,000 high-paying jobs be heading to the Denver metro area? Analysts said it’s a strong possibility.
Amazon is eyeing cities across North America to build a second headquarters — one that could forever change northern Colorado in a big way, according to experts.
In the beginning, the company was a little-known tech startup in Seattle. Now, it’s a household name.
“We’ve seen transformations in the entire landscape of our neighborhood,” said Danah Abarr, executive director of South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce.
South Lake Union is a neighborhood just north of downtown Seattle. Cranes fill the sky across the skyline as large buildings are constructed.
It’s an economic boom from which the New York Times said Denver should benefit.
The newspaper said the Mile High City and its surrounding area is the best option for Amazon’s second headquarters. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock tweeted his agreement and a link to the article on Saturday.
“[Amazon has] changed a lot of the social structure [in Seattle],” University of Denver finance professor Mac Clouse said.
Clouse said if the Denver metro wins out, expect big changes. Many more young professionals would likely move to Denver, according to Clouse.
Housing prices would continue to soar and traffic would increase — placing more pressure on officials to widen highways and expand public transit.
Amazon HQ2 would come with many six-figure salaries and a corporation known for giving back to the community, according to those familiar with the company.
“One of the things that Denver doesn’t have is a lot of large employers,” Clouse said, while comparing Denver with other large American cities.
Analysts at the New York Times said the lifestyle in the Denver metro area along with nearby universities and affordability should be attractive to Amazon decision-makers.
But will Amazon want both of its headquarters west of the Mississippi River? Clouse isn’t so sure.
“Some place that is Eastern time zone or Central time zone just gives them a better geographic mix,” he said.
Colorado economic development leaders said the state will submit a proposal to Amazon with input from each interested municipality.
Denver and Aurora have expressed interest. If Amazon sticks to its preliminary timeline, the Seattle-based company should have a city No. 2 selected by the end of the year.