DENVER, Colo. – On Friday of last week, a wrecking crew began demolishing buildings along Brighton Boulevard between 35th and 36th streets in Denver’s River North District (RiNo). Projected to take ten days, the demolition was the first step in a 16-month-long redevelopment process that would culminate in the opening of Catalyst HTI.
“Today, with the buildings coming down, you might expect me to have mixed feelings, because they’ve made my living for 20 years,” said Larry Burgess, the owner of the land where the demolition was occurring. “But the truth is that it’s exciting to see them coming down, because I’m ready for something new.”
When completed in early 2018, Catalyst HTI will be a first-of-its-kind, 190,000 square foot health-tech industry integrator. In an attempt to accelerate the digital transformation of the healthcare industry, the building will house established organizations like Kaiser Permanente, the American Diabetes Association, and Medical Group Management Association alongside some of the nation’s most innovative health-tech startups, including BurstIQ, CirrusMD, and Telespine.
“The reimagining of our broken system won’t happen with startups alone,” Mike Biselli, president of Catalyst HTI, wrote in a recent blog post detailing the building’s concept. “It won’t happen with only established healthcare organizations, either. I firmly believe that it’s going to take all of us working together to give this country the healthcare system it so desperately needs.”
Catalyst HTI is one of several new buildings currently under development in RiNo. Within the next few years, the neighborhood will become home to the 150,000 square foot REVOLUTION3600 office building, the 3-acre residential and commercial development known as DriveTrain, and the new World Trade Center Denver campus. In anticipation of these additions, the City of Denver has been engaged in a variety of infrastructure improvement projects along the Brighton Corridor, which should be completed sometime in mid-to-late 2017.
“We’re at a perfect point to start this,” said Dean Koebel, the head of leasing at Catalyst HTI. “We’ll be finishing Catalyst HTI right as the Brighton improvements are completed, which will put us at the forefront of the new vision for RiNo and the Brighton Corridor.”
After demolition is complete and the site has been cleared, a special groundbreaking ceremony will take place on October 20th. Following the ceremony, the construction of Catalyst HTI will begin in earnest, with the laying of the foundation occurring in the final months of 2016. In February of 2017, crews will start assembling the steel frame of the building, and in early summer the Beck Group, a Denver-based architectural firm, will install its core and shell.
But for Carl Koebel, vice president of acquisitions and development at Koebel and Company, the most exciting part of the process is what will happen once the building opens its doors in early 2018.
“There’s a huge opportunity for growth in the healthcare industry right now,” he said. “With the baby boomers retiring, that opportunity is only going to grow. We’re hoping to house a thriving community in Catalyst HTI that will use the space to innovate faster, because now is the time to accelerate the adoption of new technologies throughout the healthcare system.”