The Qwest sign that shines
prominently from the Denver skyline may be
telecommunications company has notified the landlord of its
headquarters at 1801 California St. that it will not renew
the existing lease, which runs through June 30, 2012.
That agreement includes the rights
to the high-profile signage atop the 52-story building. But it
requires Qwest to lease the entire building, which the company
is refusing to do as it continues to search for ways to shed
costs amid declining revenue. The company had until the end of
2009 to renew.
For now, Qwest is preparing to
move 1,200 of the 2,600 workers at 1801
to nearby, company-owned buildings. Once completed, the move is
expected to shave $12 million in annual office costs.
Qwest is responsible for paying
the lease on the entire headquarters building under the existing
agreement. It occupies 850,000 square feet of the roughly 1.3
million-square-foot building and subleases much of the rest.
Qwest has not decided whether it
will relocate its headquarters when the lease expires, said
spokeswoman Diane Reberger.
"We're looking at our options, and
remaining at 1801
is one option," Reberger said. "The other option is to move to a
different headquarters location within the Denver metro area."
Qwest and its predecessor
companies have occupied 1801
The company plans to move
employees from its primary business divisions — business
markets, mass markets and wholesale — and IT services to
buildings at 930 15th St. and 931 14th St. The 800 workers who
are currently at those buildings will move to the company's
Senior management, corporate
communications, human resources and other departments will
remain at the current headquarters for now.