Last March, Gov. John Hickenlooper, almost in passing, said at a real estate forum in Denver that he had met with a CEO of a “Fortune 150” company interested in movings its headquarters to the state, creating 1,000 or so jobs.
Hickenlooper did not identify the company. And after InsideRealEstateNews exclusively reported his comments following the Colorado Real Estate & Economic Summit sponsored by Coldwell Banker Colorado, some people privately wondered if he was grandstanding and blowing smoke.
Today, the state learned he was not.
“He was talking about Arrow Electronics,” said Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.
Hick brings Arrow home
Clark said that Hickenlooper is responsible for convincing Arrow to re-locate its global headquarters from Melville, N.Y., to along Denver’s Southeast corridor, where it already has a facility. It will being 1,250 high paying jobs to the state over the next five years.
“Hickenlooper kind of corralled them,” Clark said.
Arrow Electronics, with $18.7 in revenues last year, is the largest distributor of electronics in the world.
Landing Arrow’s global headquarters is an economic coup like the state has never experienced before, at least in modern history, according to Clark.
“Arrow Electronics is a company that has 40 percent of the global market-share in its industry,” Clark said. “For any company to have 40 percent global share in an industry is remarkable. What that means is they are creating an entirely new industry cluster for Colorado. It is only going to get bigger.”
Companies will target Arrow
He said a lot of suppliers and vendors will want to be near Arrow, much like other companies followed Vestas when it opened its wind turbine facility in Windsor.
“Not only does Arrow put Colorado on the map for a new cluster that will bring other companies to the area, but Arrow itself will plan creating new ventures and launching new businesses, which will help Colorado grow.
“This is like a gift from heaven,” Clark said.
He estimated that many of the jobs will pay salaries north of $60,000 and $70,000.
“I don’t think we have ever had a company in Colorado with $18 billion in revenues before,” Clark said. However, DISH Network, also based in the Denver area, has a market cap of about $12 billion, about three times the size of Arrow’s market cap.
Clark noted that Arrow had done a major expansion in a Colorado a few years ago, and the possibility of it moving its global headquarters informally had been discussed for three or four years.
When Gov. Bill Ritter left office, Clark spoke to an outgoing economic development official and asked if there was anything going on with Arrow moving here, and he was told no.
“Hickenlooper was really pretty pivotal in this deal,” Clark said. “I’m not privy to everything that happened, but I know he met with a pool of CEOs and really focused in on what it would take to get Arrow to move its global headquarters to Colorado. Yes, there were some tax credits made available to them. But what was really important is that we had to have the human capital available for them.”
Clark said Arrow executives were keenly interested in making sure that Colorado’s universities were committed to providing graduates who could bring Arrow to the next level.
“DIA also was very important to them,” Clark said “They were very interested in efforts to bring non-stop flights between Asia and Denver. The supply chain for electronics distributions pretty much begin and end in Asia.”
Clark said that he suspects other cities were competing to land Arrow as its global headquarters.
“They never told us or made us feel as if there were other offers out there we had to beat,” Clark said. “But with something like this you have to assume they could get some pretty substantial offers.”
Clark said that Arrow executives want to see Colorado prosper as it grows.
“The truly great thing is that Arrow is bringing a whole new cluster to Colorado, it wants to bring to Colorado clusters that it is not already in, Colorado, it wants to maximize its value and watch Colorado grow with it,” Clark said. “That is a powerful statement.”
Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com< class="related_post_title">Related Posts:>