Nearly $20M OK’d to lure new business
Colorado’s Economic Development Commission on Thursday approved nearly $20 million in incentives for seven companies looking to set up or expand their operations along the Front Range.
The companies — anonymous on the commission’s agenda but code-named Project Thunderbird, Project Rolling, Project Pikes and the like — would account for nearly 1,500 jobs if all decided to accept.
“Our staff does a thorough vetting of the companies, including their ability to meet the projected jobs, so we don’t even bring projects to the commission that we feel would be controversial or unsuccessful,” said Jenifer Doane, Office of Economic Development and International Trade spokeswoman.
Incentives for the projects, which span from Larimer County to Colorado Springs, will be offered through the Job Growth Incentive Tax. Each will only be available after a company has been operating and employing workers in-state for at least a year.
Highlights include Project Peter, a Colorado-based company focused on commercial and industrial products for
the energy and aerospace, which was offered a $7.1 million incentive to create 500 full-time jobs in Larimer County. Project Puzzle, a software company to be potentially based in Arapahoe County, was offered $4.5 million to create nearly 300 new full-time jobs with an average annual wage of $70,000.
Project 5738, a food manufacturer based in the Midwest, is also considering building a 250,000square-foot facility with more than 300 full-time jobs and a potential investment of more than $300 million in built-to-suit infrastructure, Doane said.
Additionally, Thursday’s meeting awarded $300,000 in film rebates to a project from actor, director and political scion Bobby Kennedy III, who breezily charmed board members at the meeting.
Kennedy is working on a narrative feature about the true story of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s 1970 run for sheriff of Pitkin County. Kennedy plans to begin shooting his $1.85 million-budgeted film in Colorado’s high country starting in June.
Thursday also marked the final appearance of Fiona Arnold as executive director of the commission after a two-year run. She will be replaced in January by Stephanie Copeland, who was named executive director last month by Gov. John Hickenlooper.