Bellevue-Hale Neighborhood Association

Denver Colorado East Central

Linked here you can find the Continuum Partners Presentation, which provides a nice overview of who they are and their conceptual plan for the redevelopment of the former University of Colorado Health Sciences Center campus at 9th and Colorado Blvd.  Below are notes captured from their walk thru of this presentation which was made in front of the Colorado Blvd. Healthcare District meeting on March 6th and at the last Bellevue-Hale General Meeting on March 11th.

Additionally, here is a link to the latest Denver Post Article: Continuum's plan for old CU Hospital site draws favorable reviews

Presented by Frank Cannon, Continuum Partners 

  • Local based, founded 15 years ago, focused on urban mixed-used, infill, redevelopment.
  • Work nationwide, but based in Denver and get excited about Denver projects.
  • Private Equity Partner – CIM Group (cimgroup.com) – Urban infill specialists
  • Development Partner – Zeppelin Development (Taxi, The Source)
  • John Huggins – Project Partner
  • Recent Continuum Projects (BelMar, 16 Market Square, Union Station, Bradburn Village)

Why we are interested in 9th and Colorado

  • This is our hometown
    • We understand the Denver real estate market extraordinarily well
    • We know what works/doesn’t work here
    • We understand the surrounding neighborhoods
  • We’ve watched the project for a number of years
  • We think we have heard and understand what the community has liked/didn’t like about previous efforts
  • We like complex urban infill projects with public/private partnerships and community engagement
  • We started with the history and public record on this project, what we could find documented to understand what the community was looking for.

The Conceptual Plan

  • Previous Projects were very retail based – this project is much more residential based.
    • The retail is an amenity to the onsite housing and for the surrounding neighborhoods.

The flexibility of the plan enabled by the street grid – we have to get that right to make the plan work.

  • Street grid connectivity including bake and pedestrian access
  • Flexibility as we go forward
  • Public space (at union station we expanded plan for public space from 2 to 10 acres)
  • The real estate market changes over time – this project has a diverse composition that will enable us to deliver on a phased basis with elements delivery over time
  • 5 Years start to finish

Composition of the plan

  •  Do it Right at 9th website served as our baseline for ‘what we think we should do’
    • This was our start point.
    • Emphasized the point on ‘place making’
    • Site walk through
      • 4 Buildings we intend to keep:
        • Garage at 11th & Colorado Blvd. – a key asset and an essential component
        • Bioresearch building (South of 9th at Colorado)
          • Don’t yet know the use – currently studying – love the bones
          • Research Bridge that Spans 9th Ave. – ideally a hotel – “Iconic architecture”
          • Nurses Dorm – It’s small, looking for community need
          • All other buildings will come down – surgically removed (demolished) where they adjoin the buildings that are being saved.
          • Density aligned to adjacency:
            • Zone A – Higher density towards the northwest corner (near Colorado Blvd. and the apartment buildings to the north of the site.
            • Residential building adjacent to the parking garage
            • Density stepped down as they move east and south towards the lower density neighborhoods
            • New open space in the middle of the residential north of 9th  “Neighborhood park”
              • We hope the surrounding neighborhoods will use and enjoy this space
              • Zone B – Mixed-use walkable retail – Heart of the project.
                • South of 9th – starting with the repurposed Bioresearch Building then extending south of the new hotel
                • Public plaza – centered between Albion and Ash open to 8th Ave.
                  • Ground floor restaurants and retail with the potential for 1 to 2 stories of neighborhood support offices/support services (e.g. Legal, yoga, real estate, daycare, etc…)
              • Zone C – Lowest density housing – townhomes facing the quadrangle
                • South east corner of the project
                • Restoring the quadrangle south of the Nurses’ dorm
                  • Community open space
              • Zone D – Residential (possibly condos)
                • North of 9th east of Ash
                • Combination of market rate, affordable housing and senior housing
                • All fully integrated into the project
                • Likely to leverage partners  – specialists for some of this development
        • Parking
          • No field parking – Underground parking plus existing parking structure
          • 1 level below grade – 8th to 9th
            • Leveraging existing basements from the hospital and the school of medicine
              • Enhances neighborhood value:
                • Density, public space and walkability
        • 9th and Colorado is the front Door
          • Research Bridge across 9th remains – ideally a hotel – “Iconic architecture”
          • Bioresearch Building South of 9th remains
            • Infill with walkable shops bringing the frontage to the sidewalk
            • Urban, pedestrian scale with a sense of enclosure
            • Intend to save the existing trees – “Spectacular”
              • Need to confirm health, but great assets
              • Instant character
        • Street grid comments
          • Bringing Ash all the way through from 8th to 11th
          • Albion will come through from 8th to 10th and then will dog leg into Ash
            • Due to the fact that the existing parking structure is being saved
              • There are already 3 driveways from the garage on 11th
              • Do not want to create a pinch-point by adding Albion at 11th a well
              • Exploring the possibility of a bike/pedestrian connection on Albion to 11th
              • New 8-1/2th  Ave. running east from Colorado Bvd. Through to the Alliance apartments
        • Schedule (aggressive but high confidence)
          • Executed purchase & sale contract on Feb. 20, 2014
          • Due diligence period Feb. 20 – May 20,2014
            • Make go / no-go decision
              • Confirm ‘no-surprises,’ but so far so good
              • Do we still think our plan will work based on what we learned
              • Conceptual Plan refinement February – May 2014
                • Talking to the community
              • GDP Changes (if required) – Jun. 2014
              • Infrastructure Design – Jun. – Nov. 2014
              • Urban Renewal Plan Amendment (TIF) – Sep. 2014
              • Redevelopment Agreement – Oct. 2014
              • Closing – Dec. 2014
              • Commence Abatement & Demolition – Jan. 2015
              • Vertical Development w/in 9 months of closing
        • Biggest Risk
          • The environmental condition of the School of Medicine
          • Need an independent assessment – studying in detail
        • Community outreach and communications
          • Looking to get as much feedback as possible in the first month
            • Enable focus in the 2nd two months on assessment (due diligence)
            • Communications starting after the due diligence period
              • Launch a regular email update
              • Project website

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