DENVER-If Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp. completes its $72-billion purchase of locally-based AT&T Broadband, the metro area will lose one of its few corporate headquarters. Denver also will lose its boasting rights as the Cable TV Capital of the World.

While no decision has been made, experts tell that AT&T Broadband, a telecommunications giant based in Arapahoe County, likely will not dump most of its real estate on the market. Sources tell AT&T Broadband controls about 1.6 million sf of space. About 1.25 million sf is in its corporate headquarters andanother 400,000 sf is for operating systems.

AT&T Broadband employs about 6,000 people in the Denver area.

AT&T controls most of its real estate through synthetic leases: a not-uncommon means for telecommunication and technology companies to control properties while keeping the land off a balance sheet. After all, they don’t want to be in the real estate business.

One former high-ranking official at AT&T Broadband and a predecessor company tells that perhaps 100 of the top brass at AT&T Broadband will lose their jobs, or will be transferred to Philadelphia. And the legal and corporate finance positions, which are typically prime ways for acquiring companies to eliminate redundancy and save costs by eliminating jobs, won’t be a major factor in Denver, he predicts. That’sbecause most of those functions are handled by AT&T’s corporate headquarters in Denver.

All in all, there won’t be huge cuts of jobs in the metro area and most of the real estate will remain intact. Company officials emphasize to that they don’t know and it is too early to even make educated guesses.

In other words: time will tell.

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