Updated: 05/15/2013 12:52:57 PM MDT
Redevelopment control of the old University of Colorado Health Sciences Center has changed hands, marking the fourth new regime for the campus in nine years.
Houston-based real-estate investor Lionstone Group now is negotiating to acquire the property from CU and launch redevelopment of the 28-acre east Denver site.
The property has been vacant since the hospital and health-sciences complex moved to Fitzsimons in Aurora in 2007.
Redevelopment of the former Denver campus at East Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard has been a recurring focus of controversy, first over a proposal for a Walmart store and more recently when King Soopers said it was withdrawing as a proposed anchor tenant.
Yet-unrealized plans call for development of a mixed-use project with housing, restaurants and retailers.
Lionstone Group said Tuesday that it took control over a purchase-and-sale contract for the property in mid-2012. That status had not been publicly announced previously.
Prior to Lionstone’s disclosure that it assumed the contract, Lionstone had been described as the financier behind developer Fuqua Development, headed by Jeff Fuqua. Before Fuqua, Sembler Co. and, starting in 2004, Shea Properties had been negotiating to acquire the property.
Lionstone in a statement Tuesday said an agreement for Fuqua to perform development services “has been terminated at this time.”
Change in prospective control of the property left officials with CU and the city of Denver uncertain over when the campus redevelopment can finally be launched.
“(Jeff) Fuqua brought in Lionstone to be his financial partner; now Fuqua is out, and now Lionstone is taking over, and they’re bringing in another outfit to do some apartments,” University of Colorado president Bruce Benson said Monday. “It just goes on and on. It’s a never-ending saga.”
Denver City Council President Mary Beth Susman said city officials are “not sure of Fuqua’s and Lionstone’s relations
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