With the City of Aurora forced rezoning of all perimeter land surrounding the Anschutz Medical Campus in 1997. Economically displaced individuals and families were coerced to vacate the newly created Fitzsimons redevelopment zone. After initial demolition of all vertical construction the entire perimeter land remained vacate for the next 13 years. Not one: individual, builder, REIT, lender, or potential tenant was interested in being located on the perimeter of the Anschutz Medical Campus. After more than a decade of inactivity the greedy City of Aurora headed by mayor Ed Tauer was concerned about all the potential loss of city tax revenue. There were existing nearby hotels, however Aurora city officials believed there should be a hotel and adjoining conference center across from the mismanaged Anschutz Medical Campus.
Eventually an out of state developer Corporex developed a 32 acre parcel of land directly across from the Children’s hospital. A conceptual plan was approved for condos, retail, class A office space, hotel and conference center and an independent free standing parking structure. With a pre approved development plan in hand Corporex was turned down by more than 40 lenders. In 2010 Not one lender was interested in lending any money on speculation building across from the Anschutz Medical Campus.
However once again, connecting the dots and using tax payer funding, the City of Aurora and Corporex formed a private public partnership with the City of Aurora eventually committing to invest 30 million dollars of tax payer funds to own and operate a hotel conference center and parking garage. Arrogant Aurora city officials believed it was in their best interest to position the city in the hotel business. The city of Aurora now manages the facility stating its a unique opportunity for the city and the conference space was badly needed.
With taxpayer financing in hand in the middle of the nations longest recession, ground was broken and construction started on 150,000 sq, ft, class A office building. 16,000 sq, ft, of retail space, and a free standing parking structure. Soon there was a hotel, Spring Hill Suites by Marriott. Eventually a small high viability out pad was sold to First bank.The selected developer Corporex, brochure states: We have unmatched experience in efficient construction methods and value engineering. Offering in house expertise in design, construction,development and finance. Choosing select locations that have high barriers to entry. In 2016 an additional 90 million dollar hotel by Hyatt Regency was opened. Featuring 248 rooms, 36,000 sq. ft. of conference center space and featuring a celebrity chef from the food network. At a ribbon cutting ceremony, Aurora political leaders headed by now deceased mayor Steve Hogan states. The city of Aurora now has a world class hotel adjacent to the Anschutz Medical Campus.
Approximately two blocks away, the Forum Fitzsimons apartments a transit orientated development has recently been completed. Featuring studio, one and two bedroom apartments. These resort style fitzsimons apartments feature hardwood flooring, granite counter tops, pool siding living and fireplaces. The community will have 28,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 397 apartments. Located near the Aurora light rail prices range from 1,500 a month to over 2,000 a month for rent.
TAXPAYERS FINANCE ANSCHUTZ MEDICAL CAMPUS GENTRIFICATION
Implementing strategic thinking and carefully selected partners, the taxpayer is now unknowingly accelerating the max exodus of local residents surrounding the Anschutz medical campus perimeter. Using a covert “meeting of the minds” the CU Anschutz medical campus is now a national textbook example show casing how to actively divide the nation between winner and looser communities using political connections.
In 2017 under the Trump administration, Over 8000 Federal opportunity zones were set up across the nation. Envisioned to serve poor communities and provide below market financing for under served residents or possibly creating a tangible community benefit, jobs, affordable housing or green spaces. On the perimeter of the CU Anschutz medical campus where the planned Fitzsimons Village undeveloped land is now designed as a Federal opportunity zone. With all previously existing low income minority residents coercively removed from the Aurora fitzsimons redevelopment zone. Substantial tax benefits are available in Federal opportunity zones. In specific low income zones, identified using old census data, capital gains investments will remain untaxed for the next 10 years. Three specific opportunity tax zone benefits are: reduction, deferral, exclusion and may be deferred until 2026! The Federal opportunity zone is rare and unique, not requiring any company to report how many jobs are created or retained. Therefore there is no accountability required. With no accountability compliance required, The Federal opportunity zone program can easily be manipulated to provide tax benefits that do not benefit the lower income community.
Instead of constructing healthy, dense, energy and water efficient affordable housing, combining LIHTC with below market green financing which would replenish affordable housing for the displaced homeless Anschutz minority refugees and provide a community benefit. Corporox, Fitzsimons Village developer, sold the undeveloped 4.5 acres of land to Legacy Partners who will construct approximately 363 1-2 and 3 bedroom apartments and 500 parking spaces for CU Anschutz medical campus medical personnel. With The fitzsimons Village undeveloped land located in a Federal opportunity zone sophisticated institutional investor (REIT) Griffin Capital will provide the financing.
The new 363 apartment community will include a fitness center, yoga studio, clubhouse, pool. outdoor kitchens, fire pits and an observation deck. Therefore with high construction costs, luxury amenities, with high rental rates. Displaced homeless Anschutz refugees are now living in unauthorized tents along I 225.
All of the remaining perimeter land remains vacant. At the opposite intersection located at Colfax and Peoria street. A four acre parcel of land has fallen into foreclosure with a one million sq. ft. planned medical office abandoned. Currently on the market at $60.00 dollars a sq. ft. In 2012 Children’s hospital purchased 12 acres of land from the displaced Capri Mobil home community. Paying 10 million dollars for the land that now operates as a parking lot. With no future plans for the land, Children’s hospital is now in the business of land banking. Being financed by patients insurance and deductibles.
It has now been more than 20 years, two decades since the initial plan to move the University of Colorado to the Anschutz Medical Campus. There is limited development on the perimeter of the campus…..with a lot of empty vacant land remaining. In the event the Anschutz medical campus was half as good as publicly stated, the entire perimeter would be fully constructed and developed.
A MISSED OPPORTUNITY A MEDICAL CORRIDOR
With the 1997 City of Aurora forced perimeter rezoning, lack of community involvement, incomplete comprehensive planning, failure to align with community stakeholders and zero sustainability requirements there is little interest in the Anschutz Medical Campus. Few if any companies are interested in conventional building. With annual corporate sustainability reporting requirements being completed by over 70% of national corporations. Sustainability is the missing ingredient. With the 20 year documented failed leadership of Aurora mayor Ed Tauer and Steve Hogan the city of Aurora has not developed or implemented a green building policy. There is no green building guidelines, sustainable building requirements, expedited building permits, waived building fees, solar mandate, renewable energy infrastructure, or below market financing. Therefore the city of Aurora is a permanent laggard in leadership, net zero construction, and will never attract world class human talent.Expanding readership of the Anschutz medical campus blog are now reading, learning and evaluating where world class human talent is accomplishing on a world wide stage.
Therefore these two outlier perimeter developments are constructed to conventional building codes. Neither development is constructed to USGBC, Energy Star, DOE building America,LEED or passive building construction. Both of these inept developments two decades in the making are not sustainable or incorporate renewable energy. Both developments emit greenhouse gases and consume fossil fuels and have no water conservation infrastructure certification. Neither Corporox or Catalina development Company are green builders or are familiar with net zero energy construction. Therefore both of these projects are missing energy and water efficiency, quality indoor air index, renewable energy, or accessed the green bond market for below market financing.
There is no community geothermal community loop, solar panels arrays, energy grid or storage batteries. While entire University campuses nationally are moving towards net zero energy consumption and carbon neutral status. Both of these multi million dollar developments completely lack 21st century construction techniques, are constructed to an archaic energy style and are subject to conventional brown appraisal discount.
With any foresight, implementing the Fitzsimons rezoning in 1997 sustainability would be financially incentivized by the City of Aurora. The entire Anschutz Medical Campus and surrounding community would have been constructed as an comprehensive ecocity. Including higher density and a light rail strategically aligned with a medical corridor. Another reason the Anschutz Medical Campus is a distant afterthought and China is the world leader in green construction and green financing.
Now lets take a closer look at the planned obsolescence of the city of Aurora’s taxpayer 30 million dollar investment in owning a conference center and parking garage. Corporex constructed the 30,000 sq. ft. conference center and has no green building and, no indoor clean air environmental expertise. The whole focus and purpose behind the conference center was to increase city tax revenue for out of town bioscience conferences. Out of state bioscience conferences could book meeting rooms across from the Anschutz Medical Campus. However there is no third party certification of this taxpayer financed boondoggle. Specifically no Well certified, or Fitwell real estate certification. Squandering away hundreds of millions of dollars, emitting misleading false rhetoric stating how great all the development is approaching over 5 billion dollars in construction. Not one building anywhere, on this one square mile campus is certified to the Well Real Estate designation.
CERTIFIED WELL REAL ESTATE
While neither development, the forum at Fitzsimons or Fitzsmons Village is constructed to a green building certification. More importantly with individuals spending 90% of their time indoors the indoor environment is omnipotent. The indoor environment is more contaminated than the outdoor environment. The indoor environment contains carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, radon, formaldehyde and asbestos. These air borne contaminants effect mental capacity. However with failed leadership in the Fitzsimons redevelopment authority(FRA), no green building expertise in the selected general contractors, no independent comprehensive analysis by a third party. No comprehensive integration was strategically implemented in any of the 11 million square feet of new construction on the Anschutz medical Campus and the surrounding Fitzsimons redevelopment zone.
While energy and water efficiency is important and incorporated onto all types of green building certifications. The focus has shifted to include the indoor environment. Delos pioneered the indoor environment which overlaps with the green building certifications. Applying a holistic approach which impacts indoor health. Delos has partnered with the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and Columbia University developing the Well living lab. Using seven elements air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind incorporated into Well certified real estate designation. With over 450 buildings, 100 million sq. ft. in 27 countries now certified. Leading to higher lease rates, faster lease up rates and better cognitive memory. All elements that are completely absent from any construction fully controlled and under the authority of the University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus regents and the City of Aurora Fitzsimons redevelopment authority.
With no outside expertise consulted or selected, there was no research performed. Leading to incompetent decisions paid for by taxpayers. Delos strategically aligned with world class medical alliances (Mayo, Cleveland Clinic) has performed a study called the cogfx study. The crux of this study confirmed with competent world class medical alliances clearly showing incorporating the Well Building Standard improves cognitive memory by 100%. Doubling mental capacity! This is due to decreasing indoor containment’s and increasing the flow of fresh air, which dramatically improves cognitive memory. As this Well certification is absent on 11 million sq. ft of new construction, every single student, researcher, faculty member, visitor, and patient are all negatively effected and have their cognitive memory operating at a 50% below market capacity. A dumbed down bioscience research center! Scientifically documented! Permentally positioning the CU Anschutz medical campus and the Fitzsimons campus with construction disadvantages, adversely affecting all the indoor occupants!
With a 30 million dollar conference center paid for by taxpayers, all out of state bioscience visitors are at a 50% cognitive memory mental disadvantage. In an industry that prioritizes tacit learning the entire Anschutz Medical Campus, Fitzsimons Campus and Fitzsimons Village is at a huge market disadvantage. This effects initial tenant interest,tenant loyalty,tenant recruitment, vacancy rates, lease rates, building appraisal, and the primary disadvantage human talent will always be below par.(substandard). Conventional buildings are subject to increased regulation. Increasingly becoming a real estate outlier,subject to a brown appraisal discount as educated people prefer sustainability characteristics. Therefore the coerce unknowingly taxpayer is the disenchanted financier of substandard obsolescence conventional real estate.
However none of these pertinent facts are forthcoming from any public spokesman. University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus official, CU university regents, Aurora city officials, Fitzsimons campus board of directors or developers. In fact all publicly emitted rhetoric is the exact opposite stating how amazing this place is? The facts are not disclosed, however they are disclosed and contained on the Anschutz Medical Campus blog. There is a big difference between emitting false propaganda and disclosing salient facts. They directly effect your reputation.