DENVER – Chipotle Mexican Grill will close its Denver headquarters and move to California this year after more than 20 years at Mile High City.
The company said in a press release that the headquarters will move to Newport Beach, California. and other functions within the Denver office will be transferred to the company's existing office in Columbus, Ohio.
The company said the measures will affect about 400 employees in Denver and New York in the fourth quarter of 2018 and said some people offered relocation and retention packages.
The location of Newport Beach will serve as the company's headquarters, and the support functions will be moved to Columbus. After the removals, the Denver and New York offices will be closed, the company said.
"We will always be proud of our roots in Denver, where we opened our first restaurant 25 years ago, consolidating offices and moving to California will help us drive sustainable growth while positioning us well in the competition for the best talents, "said Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol.
The news comes as a surprise to some in Denver, as the company announced in December that it was moving its headquarters to a new office tower in downtown that was still under construction.
"We wish @ChipotleTweets all the best, we want your current employees to know that we have services that can help them find new jobs," said Governor John Hickenlooper tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
He signed a 15-year lease for five floors of a 40-story skyscraper located on 15th Street between Arapahoe and Lawrence streets. The status of the lease is currently unclear, although the building celebrated its grand opening in recent months.
The CEO of the time, Steve Ells, said at the time: "Our roots are here, and this contemporary, collaborative and modern space will position us to look forward in the next 25 years."
Niccol, who was previously the CEO of Taco Bell, replaced Ells in early March. In the company's Q1 profit call that occurred in April, Niccol hinted at a "special call" in which he would reveal more details about the company's next strategy, and a company press release issued on Wednesday said that It would release more information about the movements in a special investment announcement scheduled for June 27.
Chipotle said in December that there were about 450 employees working for the company. Restaurant Business Online clbadifies Chipotle as the sixteenth largest restaurant chain in the country in terms of sales.
This is news in development and will be updated.