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AURORA, CO-The Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority is seeking qualified hotel operators and owner/developers to build the first hotel on the $4.3-billion Fitzsimons redevelopment into a medical, educational and bio-tech center.

The hotel will be the first commercial building unrelated to medical treatment, research or biotech in the center, which is currently under construction. The hotel would open in 2006.

“We’re now at a point where a full-service hotel is supportable here at Fitzsimons,” says Robert E. Olson, executive director of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority. “Not only is it supportable, but it’s necessary in order to create a full mix of uses in what we’re calling ‘Life Sciences City.’ We know that around the country–in districts that revolve around hospitals, medical schools, research facilities and biotech clusters–hotels have become embedded and thriving members of these districts.”

About 2,500 employees already work on the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center grounds. By 2005, the workforce will exceed 5,000, and by 2007 it will approach 13,000. At build-out, 32,000 employees will work at Fitzsimons.

More than 800,000 patients will visit the various medical centers each year. Fitzsimons is the largest medical-related redevelopment endeavor currently under construction in the nation. Ultimately, at least two hospitals, numerous clinics and medical schools, and dozens of research companies will make Fitzsimons their home.

The new hotel will meet the lodging, conference and meeting-space needs of the medical staffs, researchers, patients and families and business travelers.

“The momentum is building for this type of project,” says Kim Prentice, director of real estate for the redevelopment authority. He says key infrastructure improvements will be wrapping up as the hotel opens in 2006, including the Sand Creek Parkway project, adding that the first hotel will probably range from 125 to 350 rooms, with a sit-down restaurant and at least 6,000 sf of conference and meeting space.

The type of hotel could range from an upper-end limited-service hotel, such as a Courtyard by Marriott or Hilton Garden Inn, to a high-quality, full-service conference hotel with restaurants and room service.

Statements of Qualifications from prospective hotel operators and owner/developers must be submitted by Jan. 16. The hotel will be built on a 22-acre parcel owned by the authority near the northwest corner of Colfax Avenue and Potomac Street, adjacent to the Colfax/I-225 interchange.

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