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Catalyst To Welcome First Tenants In May

When Catalyst HTI opens next May in Denver’s burgeoning River North neighborhood, nearly 50 companies that have some involvement in the healthcare industry will move into the 180K SF office and retail space that is designed with collaboration in mind.

In Denver's River North, Catalyst is in one of Denver's hottest neighborhoods.

The brainchild of serial entrepreneur Mike Biselli, the $60M project at 35th Street and Brighton Boulevard will be home to well-known healthcare giants like Kaiser Permanente and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, as well as lesser-known healthcare technology innovators such as CirrusMD and International.

“This is not an accelerator, this is not an incubator and this is not co-working space,” Biselli said. “We are an industry integrator. We have everything from Fortune 500 companies to a woman with an idea on a napkin and everything in between.”

Catalyst Health-Tech Innovation is an industry integrator, bringing together relevant stakeholders in health-tech innovation — from single-person startups and Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit organizations and healthcare providers — to build a community in which collaboration and integration lead to accelerated innovation within the industry.

Developed by Koelbel and Co. on land donated by the Burgess family, Catalyst is in the heart of one of Denver’s hottest neighborhoods. Its location near the recently opened pedestrian bridge that connects Blake and Wazee streets between 35th and 36th streets effectively puts the project at the intersection of Main and Main, Koelbel and Co. Vice President Carl Koelbel said. Catalyst also is a short walk to the Regional Transportation District’s East Rail Line station at 38th and Blake streets.

“Mike [Biselli] approached us with this idea for a healthcare home, and we jumped at the opportunity,” said Walter “Buz” Koelbel, president of the development firm. “He didn’t have land identified but said it needed to be in RiNo. In 2015, finding a large block of available land in RiNo was a challenge.”

A beam is raised for the topping out of Catalyst.

Koelbel will deliver the core and shell of the building in March and expects the first tenants will move in in May.

As the project nears completion, Koelbel is considering the appropriate timing to develop Phase 2 of the project, which would double the size of Catalyst.

“Phase 2 is really going to be dependent on the market,” Koelbel said.

Judging from its current leasing activity, the market shows no signs of slowing down. Koelbel had to add more offices to the fourth floor, which is designed for startups, because there was such high demand from companies that wanted to be in Catalyst, he said.

The pace of development has been almost startling in RiNo, which until recently was referred to as the old warehouse district or the train yards. Though Brighton Boulevard was the main route taxis took passengers from Denver International Airport to downtown, little else was appealing about the neighborhood.

Then, in 2003, the city issued the River North Plan covering the area northeast of downtown Denver between Park Avenue West and Interstate 70 and its interchange with Brighton Boulevard. Included in the boundaries were the old Denargo Market, which has since been redeveloped by Texas-based Cypress Real Estate Advisors with a massive apartment complex, empty lots and warehouses, as well as artists who had established studios.

In recent years, the city has established the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative to coordinate six redevelopment projects in RiNo, Globeville, Elyria and Swansea. Those projects include the Brighton Boulevard redevelopment; reconnecting Denver neighborhoods surrounding Interstate 70 between Colorado and Brighton boulevards; the National Western Center; aligning neighborhood plans for Globeville, Elyria and Swansea; reclaiming the river with a new park and greenway, transportation improvements and improved drainage; and coordinating the planning and rezoning of the areas around the new East, North and Gold rail stations that will connect downtown to the National Western Complex and DIA.

To hear more about healthcare trends in Denver, join us at Bisnow's The State of Denver Healthcare event Nov. 30 at The Ritz-Carlton.