Colorado Developer Expands Beyond State Lines for First Time in 70 years

Following almost seven decades of highly successful development in Colorado, Koelbel and Company announced this week it will be develop its first ever project beyond the borders of the Centennial State—bringing its innovative Catalyst concept to the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) at the historic Omaha Mill Site.

The project is the first of what could be a network of Catalyst concepts in key markets throughout the country that cater to an evolving healthcare industry looking to accelerate innovation. On this new campus, researchers will spawn companies that turn ideas into products to help improve health and healthcare. Koelbel is taking what it learned at Catalyst, as well as its first collaborative office venture—Industry—to bring this vision to life.

“Koelbel is thrilled to bring its Catalyst concept to Omaha, which has proven to be tremendously successful in Denver, and honored to be doing so in partnership with GreenSlate, The Lund Company, and UNMC, ” said Buz Koelbel, president of Koelbel and Company. “This is the first development outside of Colorado for Koelbel after nearly 70 years in business, and we believe Omaha is the ideal market for the initial expansion of this concept and our development operations.”

UNMC wanted to replicate the “industry integrator” concept in Omaha at the Saddle Creek Redevelopment Site—bringing together relevant stakeholders from across the health, wellness and health care industries—to forge an adaptive reuse redevelopment from two former Omaha Steel Works structures, into a mixed-used innovation technology campus. The two structures played historically significant roles in World War II, as well as in Omaha’s industrial growth. UNMC will play an integral role in the development as both a collaborator and tenant in the future building.  The mix of amenities to serve the broader UNMC campus as well as the inclusion of other healthcare focused companies will further connect UNMC to the broader private sector healthcare industry in Omaha and beyond.

“Redevelopment of these structures and the Saddle Creek site will be one of the most unique and significant infill projects in the history of Omaha,” said Jay Lund, principal of GreenSlate Development. “This is a natural continuation of the campus and UNMC’s continued reinvestment in midtown Omaha.”

The $45 million, 140,000-square-foot multiuse project, just one part of the innovation hub concept, will include a food hall and market, event center and collaborative office space that draws on Koelbel and Company’s experience in designing healthcare spaces. GreenSlate Development and The Lund Company will bring their experience in the Omaha market to the project. While the design of the building is still in its conceptual phase, the goal is to build a community where collaboration accelerates innovation within the healthcare industry. Design work will begin immediately, with the goal of breaking ground by end of 2021.

Catalyst Denver (aka Catalyst Healthcare Tech Innovation) is a premier office and retail space bringing together private enterprise, government, academic and non-profit organizations with healthcare providers and payers to accelerate innovation and drive real, lasting change. The concept has proven highly successful in the RiNo area of Denver and remains so despite COVID challenges over the last year. Koelbel worked closely with key partners including Mike Biselli and Larry Burgess and to create a fully leased concept complete with over 50 healthcare tenants including UCHealth, CirrusMD and Medical Solutions, lifestyle amenities, and WELL Certification.

Founded as a residential brokerage company in 1952 and now a full-service developer and real estate company with developed commercial and residential properties spanning from Vail and Winter Park to Louisville and Denver, Koelbel and Company has helped change the face of the Centennial State.

Rendering courtesy of Koelbel

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