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DigitalGlobe Zooms In On Broomfield For New HQ

Image (c) 2012 DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Satellite image, captured June 17, 2012 of the western edge of the High Park Fire burning to the west of Fort Collins, Colo.

A Longmont-based satellite imagery provider is expanding – and moving its headquarters to Broomfield in the process.

Update 11/7/2013 - DigitalGlobe has altered their plans for a new HQ, they have instead chosen to relocate to Westminster, Colo. You can read the story here. Our original story continues below:


DigitalGlobe recently announced plans for its new headquarters, to be built in Broomfield’s North Park development along Interstate 25 and Highway 7. The company, which has roots in Boulder-based Ball Aerospace, provides geospatial images through contracts with the U.S. military and other government agencies, as well as private companies.

Boulder County Business Report publisher Chris Wood says the new location will reduce the commute for current and prospective employees, many of whom live in the south Denver metro area.

Additionally, the new 400,000 square-foot HQ will offer more room for future growth.

"DigitalGlobe bought its rival, GeoEye Inc. out of Virginia earlier this year for $900 million," Wood says. "Some of the new Broomfield employees will result from consolidating other DigitalGlobe and GeoEye sites in the metro area."

Colorado employees are expected to relocate to the new campus in 2015, according to a news release from the company's website.

A Broomfield economic-development official has said that the new DigitalGlobe headquarters could one day support 2,500 workers. The company is expected to receive some financial incentives from the city and county of Broomfield, although Wood says those details have not yet been made public.


Interview highlights:

What do we know about the North Park development?

"North Park is also the site of a new proposed campus for University of Colorado Health, and the 935-acre business park itself is owned by McWhinney out of Loveland. That company, of course, is most famous for building the Centerra lifestyle center in Loveland.

Boosters of North Park have likened it to the Denver Tech Center of the north – a description, by the way, that has been used to describe another Broomfield development, the Interlocken park along the U.S. 36 corridor.

At buildout, North Park will encompass more than 17 million square feet of commercial space, plus 6,000 residential units and a science and research park.”

What effect will the loss of DigitalGlobe likely have on Longmont?

"A substantial effect. DigitalGlobe is the third-largest employer in Longmont, with more than 700 workers. The company will vacate 253,000 square feet in the Boulder County Business Center along the Diagonal Highway. The loss of DigitalGlobe will have spinoff effects, but the magnitude of those effects is not yet known."

Here is a statement from DigitalGlobe on the move:

"As stated in our release on Thursday, August 29th 2013, DigitalGlobe has signed a letter of intent with a developer and is planning to consolidate its headquarters from Longmont to Broomfield, with a planned move date of 2015. Throughout our decision-making process, we deeply appreciate the ongoing cooperation from the cities of Longmont, Thornton, Westminster, Broomfield and the state of Colorado. We are excited for this consolidation and anticipate that the move will help maintain a strong and enduring organization. As stated before, we are committed to maintaining our global headquarters and significant employee base in Colorado. The company plans to hire more than 500 local employees within the next five years. DigitalGlobe has a strong history and roots in Longmont and will continue to maintain an important presence here during the transition into Broomfield." - Grover Wray, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer


As host of KUNC's Colorado Edition, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. And because life is best when it's a balance of work and play, I love finding stories that highlight culture, music, the outdoors, and anything that makes Colorado such a great place to live.
Boulder County Business Report publisher Chris Wood helped create the Northern Colorado Business Report in 1995. He previously served as managing editor of the Denver Business Journal. Chris discusses regional business and economic issues in Boulder County every other Thursday at 5:35 and 7:35 during Morning Edition.
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