By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4) – When word got out Denver was interested in being Amazon’s second home, real estate expert Steve Ferris got to thinking.
“What’s the best place to put something like that?” Ferris questioned.
Ferris, founder of Real Estate Garage, has more than 25 years of professional experience in real estate development in design, in both the private and public sectors. He said it is exciting to think about the idea of such a large company moving to the Mile High City.
“It’s a whole new ball game when you talk about somebody like that,” Ferris said of Amazon. “It can change things. It’s a huge amount of jobs and well-paying jobs. They’re tech jobs and it’s the future.”
The e-commerce giant announced on Sept. 7 that it was looking for a new place to build its second headquarters, invest $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs. Amazon wants its HQ2 to be similar to its current headquarters in Seattle, which is more than 8 million square feet in size. That’s about the size of four Mile High stadiums.
“When you talk about a campus that’s this large, it’s also a matter of logistics which Amazon says is critical to their decision,” Ferris said. “Moving that many employees into and out of any space is going to be challenging.”
The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation is working with the governor’s office to create a bid for Colorado. The location in the team’s proposal has not been made public, but Ferris came up with a list of eight possible spots based on Amazon’s requirements. His Top 4 locations are:
– Upper Fox in the southwest corner of Interstate 25 and Interstate 70
– The northern stretch of RiNo
– The Denver Design District along South Broadway
– The current home of Elitch Gardens and parking area for the Pepsi Center
“I like that one mostly for its aesthetics,” Ferris said of the Elitch Gardens spot. “It’s an amazing opportunity to bridge the river and create a campus that we could all enjoy.”
Ferris’ list includes pros and cons for each spot, noting that an urban area close to public transit would be ideal for the future Amazon employees. But Ferris is also quick to point out his ideas are pure speculation.
“It’s hard to say what will happen,” he said. “We’re just in the running and in a lot of ways we shouldn’t worry about this until [Amazon] settles on a location. We’re here and having fun with it.”
Cities across North America are vying to be home of Amazon’s HQ2 and have until Oct. 19 to submit their proposal. Amazon plans to announce its decision in April 2018.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.