A 125-acre, ongoing medical-themed development in Aurora is growing with the addition of a $55 million bioscience building.
The three-story, 115,000-square-foot Bioscience 3 building will join two others already on the Fitzsimons Innovation Community.
The community is a continued build-out of the northern part of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, which moved to the area from East 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard after the Fitzsimons Army base closed there in the late 1990s. The CU Anschutz Medical Campus is a sprawling, multi-building campus that houses hospitals, the university med school, tech and medical startups, hotels, apartments and more.
At the time the CU Anschutz Medical Campus moved there, the city of Aurora and CU partnered to create the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, an organization to lead the development of the campus.
In addition to the new Bioscience 3 building, plans are underway for a Bioscience 4, 5 and 6, as well as a science and technology middle and high school. Aurora Public Schools is partnering with DSST Public Schools — which operates open enrollment for STEM charter schools for Denver Public Schools — to build that school.
Steve VanNurden, president and CEO of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, said the organization is also working with Denver-based developer AIMCO to bring 240 more apartments to the 600-unit "Fitzsimons 21" building already there. And it plans to add a hotel and restaurants, breaking ground in late 2018 or early 2019.
"What we’re really trying to do is building a community," VanNurden said. "We’re not going to build out the campus just to build it out. We want to be strategic about it. It’s more strategic growth."
The two buildings currently on the Fitzsimons Innovation Community — Bioscience 1 (built in the late 1990s) and Bioscience 2 (built in 2015) — house more than 65 companies and are typically at capacity.
Bioscience 3 will house laboratories, research bays, open offices, office suites, flexible warehouse and distribution space. Amenities will include a 100-seat flexible auditorium, shared conference facilities, a café with outdoor seating and covered parking. It is scheduled to open in 2019 at an estimated cost of about $55 million.
CU Anschutz Chancellor Don Elliman said the new building provides a clear path for faculty to take ideas into the commercial realm, which "enables us to attract top talent, who generate further innovation — all for the ultimate benefit of the health of people in Colorado and beyond."
"This building and others to come represent what makes us unique among research communities,” VanNurden said. “A physician here can see a patient at 9 a.m., teach a class at 11 a.m., go work in their lab at 1 p.m. and visit their company at 3 p.m., never once having to get in their car to leave campus.”
Denver-based Mortenson — which has developed other biotech communities, such as Discovery Square adjacent to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota — will serve as the developer and design/builder.
Tabor Sweet, director of development at Mortenson, said the company is looking at unique options such as "co-labbing" and incubator spaces that "will help provide the biotech community with the top level tools and support they need to do their most innovative and best work."
2017 Hospitals by Licensed beds
Ranked by Number of licensed beds as of Jan. 1, 2017
Rank Business name Number of licensed beds as of Jan. 1, 2017 1 Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center 680 2 University of Colorado Hospital 673 3 Denver Health 525 View This List