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Qwest May Be Leaving Denver Headquarters

Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q) won’t renew the lease on its downtown-Denver headquarters in a move that should help the struggling carrier save about $12 million per year.

Qwest has occupied the 52-story building at 1801 California St. since 1982. The carrier will move 1,200 of its 2,600 workers to other, nearby offices, the Denver Post reported, as executives decide whether to remain at 1801 California St.

“The other option is to move to a different headquarters location within the Denver metro area,” spokeswoman Diane Reberger told the Denver Post.

Employees in the business markets, mass markets, wholesale and IT units will be moved to facilities on 15th and 14th Streets; the staff already in those buildings are being moved to Qwest’s Littleton office. Senior management, corporate communications, human resources and other divisions will stay at the downtown headquarters for now, according to the Denver Post.

Qwest’s existing 1801 California St. lease runs through June 30, 2012. The current terms require the company to occupy the entire 52 stories, which Qwest does not want to do.

The RBOC is trying to cut costs as it records lower revenue. It laid off dozens of people from the business markets group in November and just completed a “realignment” that saw Neil Cox, executive vice president of product and IT, lose his job.

Qwest is slated to report its fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday. In 2009’s third quarter, the company made a $136 million profit, down 6 percent from the year-earlier period.


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