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DENVER-Gates Rubber Co. is moving its world headquarters, as well as all 850 employees, from old industrial buildings at South Broadway and Interstate 25 to Legacy Plaza, the only class-A office building under construction in Denver. Gates will take the entire 285,000-sf building at 15th and Wewatta streets in the former railroad yard in the Central Platte Valley.

Gates was founded in Denver in 1911 by Charles Gates. In 1996, London-based Tomkins plc paid $1.16 billion for Gates, but the company remained here. Worldwide, Gates employs 12,000 and is a leader manufacturer of belts and house products serving the industrial and automotive markets. It only has one small manufacturing operation in Denver, but that will close next spring.

Richard Bell says that as a stand-alone, world headquarters, the company could have located anywhere in the world. In fact, he says, because most of its US customers are on the East Coast, it looked at moving there.

But for dealing with people across the world, Denver is better because of the Mountain Time Zone. He notes he can speak to people in Europe around 6 a.m. and people in Japan in the afternoon.

Bell says it is fitting that its new headquarters is near the confluence of Cherry Creek and the Platte River, close to where the city of Denver was founded.

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