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DENVER-El Paso’s loss will be Denver’s gain when locally-based Archstone Communities creates 120 new high-paying jobs here. Archstone, which is one of the nation’s largest owners of apartment communities, is in the process of buying another REIT, Charles E. Smith Properties Residential Realty, which specializes in developing high-rise, luxury apartment buildings.

As part of the merger expected to close this fall, Archstone is consolidating its accounting operations in El Paso, TX and moving it to Denver.

Archstone plans to lease 64,000 sf in a building across from its headquarters for the new division. Eventually, it plans to build a new headquarters building.

Archstone is hiring about 70 accounting-related positions including corporate and property accounting, property tax and accounts payable. In addition, the company will add about 50 positions to its payroll, benefits, IT, internal audit, communications, training, insurance and risk management groups.

Peter Webb, Archstone’s spokesman, declined to say the salary range, but says they will be competitive. A local economist tells GlobeSt.com those positions typically pay between $43,000 and $90,000.

”In a time when many Denver companies are cutting back staff, we are pleased to be expanding our local workforce,’ says Charles E. Mueller Jr., chief financial officer for Archstone. ”Given that our impending merger with Charles E. Smith Residential Realty will increase Archstone’s size by 50%, it makes sense to centralize our accounting and finance functions and to staff at our corporate headquarters. We do not anticipate any problems in finding qualified candidates, given the abundance of talent in the Denver market.”

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