DENVER – Catellus Development Corporation has been selected by Colorado Heights University (“CHU”) as the buyer of the storied Denver campus, resulting from a six-month long national marketing process following the school’s 2016 announcement to close the campus.
CHU’s goal was to find the most qualified buyer who would fulfill CHU’s commitment to preserve the historic administration building and chapel while simultaneously bringing a renewed and exciting vision for the property’s future. Catellus Development Corporation has a history of tackling some of the nation’s most complex and sensitive land use matters and the Oakland, California-based developer plans to bring its consensus-based approach to problem solving, to the Colorado Heights redevelopment.
“Catellus is honored and excited to be the selected group. This is a highly visible development which demands thoughtful planning and execution,” said Tom Marshall, executive vice president of Catellus Development Corporation. “Catellus will collaborate with community leaders and neighbors, Colorado Heights University, and the City and County of Denver to determine the best uses while working to preserve and transform the campus.”
Located just north of Hampden Avenue on the West side of Federal Boulevard, the site has easy access to Denver’s Central Business District and the DTC. The historic campus has served Colorado students since 1891 when it first opened its doors as Loretto Heights Academy. Transitioning from high school to a university institution, the campus eventually became Colorado Heights University. Since announcing its decision to close, the University has successfully completed the teach-out of its program with 100 percent of its students having either completed their programs of study or successfully transferred to other education institutions, primarily in the Denver metro area.
Colorado Heights University and Catellus have committed to preserving the administration building and chapel as a key feature in the future development. Additionally, the University has offered to donate the cemetery located on campus to the Sisters of Loretto; the University plans to provide some financial assistance for the transfer of the cemetery.
“We are pleased that the administration building and chapel will be preserved, as we pledged to do, and we will continue to work with the Sisters of Loretto on our offer to donate the cemetery,” said Fred Van Liew, president of Colorado Heights University. “As we look to the future, we believe Catellus will be an ideal fit for this project because of the company’s strong history of community engagement on other projects with historically significant sites.”
The development program for the site, including defining the future mix of uses, will be determined in the coming months with significant community input.
“We are just beginning our due diligence for the Colorado Heights University campus redevelopment. We are excited to learn more about what the community would like to see and what the market will bear as we begin our development planning,” said Marshall.
Other Catellus developments in Colorado include Stapleton Business Center in Denver, Circle Point Corporate Campus in Westminster, and Traer Creek in Avon.
Image courtesy of CHU