Children’s Hospital Colorado buys Colfax parcel for undetermined expansion

“Children’s Hospital Colorado has been caring for kids for just over 100 years and is looking ahead to the next 100 years. Our focus continues to be on improving access to health care for children,” said Elizabeth Whitehead, a spokeswoman for Children’s

By BRANDON JOHANSSON, Staff Writer

AURORA | With an eye toward future growth, Children’s Hospital Colorado last month purchased the Capri Village mobile home park on East Colfax Avenue.

The hospital bought the 12-acre parcel at 12900 E. Colfax Ave. for $10.4 million, according to Arapahoe County records.

Children's Trailer Park

The remains of Capri Village fill the lot Monday afternoon, Aug. 13 at 12900 E. Colfax Ave. Children's Hospital Colorado purchased 12 acres including the trailer park last month for $10 million. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

Children's Trailer Park

The remains of Capri Village fill the lot Monday afternoon, Aug. 13 at 12900 E. Colfax Ave. Children's Hospital Colorado purchased 12 acres including the trailer park last month for $10 million. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

Children's Trailer Park

The remains of Capri Village fill the lot Monday afternoon, Aug. 13 at 12900 E. Colfax Ave. Children's Hospital Colorado purchased 12 acres including the trailer park last month for $10 million. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

Children's Trailer Park

The remains of Capri Village fill the lot Monday afternoon, Aug. 13 at 12900 E. Colfax Ave. Children's Hospital Colorado purchased 12 acres including the trailer park last month for $10 million. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

Children's Trailer Park

The remains of Capri Village fill the lot Monday afternoon, Aug. 13 at 12900 E. Colfax Ave. Children's Hospital Colorado purchased 12 acres including the trailer park last month for $10 million. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

Children's Trailer Park

The remains of Capri Village fill the lot Monday afternoon, Aug. 13 at 12900 E. Colfax Ave. Children's Hospital Colorado purchased 12 acres including the trailer park last month for $10 million. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

Elizabeth Whitehead, a spokeswoman for Children’s, said in an email the property, which is across Ursula Street from Children’s newly opened Clinics at Fitzsimons Village, will be used for “future expansion needs.” No formal plan is in place for what specifically will go there, she said.

“Children’s Hospital Colorado has been caring for kids for just over 100 years and is looking ahead to the next 100 years. Our focus continues to be on improving access to health care for children,” Whitehead said.

Children’s parcel stretches all the way from Colfax south to East 13th Place and from Ursula west for about a half block. The southern half of the property has been flattened and is being used as a temporary parking lot for workers at the adjacent Anschutz Medical Campus.

There are still several vacant trailer homes on the property near Colfax, but Whitehead said those will be removed.

“The mobile homes are empty, and the hospital is responsibly following guidelines to have them cleared appropriately. Due to the age of the remaining mobile homes, they cannot be moved to a new mobile home park,” she said.

It’s not clear when the last residents of Capri Village moved out. The previous owner, SKM Management in Denver, did not return a call for comment Monday. A KMGH-Channel 7 report last winter said the residents were told in January that they had to be out in mid-February.

When Children’s develops the property, it will mean continued redevelopment along Colfax near the Anschutz Medical Campus — something city officials have long hoped for.

Trailer parks like Capri Village have been a sore spot for city officials for more than a decade. In 2002, the city tried to condemn many trailer parks and other older properties to make way for new construction, but scrapped the plan amid opposition from business owners and area residents.

City rules now allow existing mobile home parks in the designated Fitzsimons Boundary Area to remain, but new trailer parks are not allowed.

New development near the campus has been a goal for local leaders since the campus opened in 2007, but development in the surrounding area moved slower than officials hoped it would.

For years, the south side of Colfax — which used to be home to a string of motels and hotels — was populated by razed motels, land that was slated for development along with the campus, but saw projects delayed by a slumping economy.

In 2010, Kentucky-based developer Corporex announced plans for Fitzsimons Village. The project uses $17 million in tax-increment financing to pay for business park infrastructure and the pedestrian bridge spanning Colfax and connecting the plaza to the medical campus.

This summer, a new First Bank opened in Fitzsimons Village. That followed a Panera Bread in the first floor of the building at 13046 E. Colfax Ave. In May 2011, officials unveiled Colfax’s newest hotel: a 153-room Springhill Suites by Marriott at 13400 E. Colfax Ave. The three businesses are part of the 32-acre Fitzsimons Village development on the south side of Colfax.

Mark Witkiewicz, a senior vice president for Corporex, said Monday more businesses will be coming to the development, but Corporex is not yet ready to announce specifics.

“We’ve got some things that are coming,” he said.

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