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LAKEWOOD, CO-Opus Northwest LLC is developing a 68,000-sf build-to-suit for MoneyGram Payments Systems Inc. in the Academy Park area of this western suburb of Denver. MoneyGram employs 500 people in the Denver and will move into the new facility.

Construction will begin in August in the new $12-million facility about two blocks from its current building. There is also room for MoneyGram to expand on its new 7-acre site.

MoneyGram signed a 10-year lease with Opus for the building. RNL Design of Denver is the architect.

”When we acquired MoneyGram in 1998, I think employees feared that we would move the MoneyGram business to our headquarters in Minneapolis,” says Phil Milne, president and CEO of Travelers Express Co. Inc., MoneyGram’s parent. ”Our decision to build an improved, efficient facility tailored for the MoneyGram operations certainly demonstrates our commitment to stay in the Denver area.”

The new building will be ready next March. The facility combines state-of-the-art power, and HVAC and telecommunications systems in a campus setting.

”MoneyGram’s commitment to it employees and technology has made this project an excellent investment for both our organizations,” says Marshall Burton, director of real estate for Opus Northwest. Opus Northwest, based in Minneapolis, is one of the country’s largest developers.

MoneyGram is a leading money transfer services company with more than 35,000 locations in more than 150 countries. The Lakewood operation includes MoneyGram’s 24-hour call center.

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