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AURORA, CO-At a ceremony at 5 p.m. today, the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority will sign a development agreement with the Pauls Corp. for the $57 million residential/retail component of the Fitzsimons Commons, a 30-acre district that will serve as a town center for the $4.3 billion “life sciences city” being created at the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center.

The Pauls’ project is called the Square at Fitzsimons Commons and is the largest private investment to date at Fitzsimons.Kim Prentice, director of real estate for the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, says the new project will be built in two phases: 221 units in the first phase and 266 in the second phase. The first phase will also have 16,000 sf of retail, and possibly another 16,000 sf of retail in the second phase.

Robert Olson, executive director of the FRA, notes that the workforce at Fitzsimons will double to 5,000 in the next 12 months, so new housing is desperately needed.

Bill Pauls, who heads the 1,200-acre Gateway project at the doorstep of the Denver International Airport, says that Fitzsimons is uniquely situated to buck the overbuilt and soft apartment market.Also, construction won’t begin for about a year, and the first phase won’t be completed until about 2006, he says, at which time he expects the apartment market will be in much better shape.

But even if it isn’t, Pauls notes there will still be huge demand for housing at Fitzsimons, not only from the thousands of people working there, but from family members visiting people being treated at Fitzsimons. Pauls already has had great success with an upscale apartment community in Gateway.

“We probably know that market better than anyone,” Pauls tells GlobeSt.com.

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