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CU site getting new owner


The Sembler Co., a privately held real estate development firm headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., has entered into an agreement to buy and redevelop the former University of Colorado Hospital campus at East Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.
The Board of Regents for the University of Colorado approved the sale. Terms of the deal were not released.

“We are thrilled to be chosen to transform this key site into a vibrant, high quality mixed-use project,” said Jeff Fuqua, president of The Sembler Co. “We look forward to working with neighborhood groups, citizens and city officials on this important development.”

It is too early to list details of the redevelopment of the 30-acre site, he said. The site currently contains 3 million square feet of empty buildings.

Developer deep ties to Denver

Fuqua, who is based in Atlanta, is a Colorado native with deep ties to Denver.

Fuqua graduated from the University of Denver, was born in Salida and raised in Lakewood. When visiting his parents in Denver, he drives past the former hospital site, and first-hand realizes its importance to the community.

Sembler is more than a 50-year-old company; it is an experienced developer of mixed-use, infill projects and is actively looking for other development opportunities in Denver and the surrounding area.

Newmark Knight Frank Frederick Ross put deal together

Denver-based Newmark Knight Frank Frederick Ross represented The Sembler Co. in its purchase of the former University of Colorado Hospital site. Frank Griffin, a Managing Director, and Stephen Roesinger, a Senior Managing Director and Wade Fletcher, an associate broker, represented Sembler in the purchase.

“We’re excited to welcome such a qualified developer as Sembler who will bring a whole new vision to this exciting opportunity in Denver,” said Griffin.

Fuqua and Griffin have a long history. After Fuqua graduated from DU, he and Griffin worked together for the real estate division of Meredith, out of New York, handling all of the company’s real estate services. Fuqua than left Denver to join The Sembler Co. in 1988 as a leasing representative. In 1992, Fuqua moved to Atlanta to open the company’s regional office. There, he was responsible for development, construction, management and leasing operations in the Georgia and South Carolina areas. In 1997, he was promoted to president of The Sembler Company’s development division, in charge of all of the company’s shopping center development activities nationwide.

“This completes a full circle for Jeff,” said Griffin, we’re thrilled to welcome him back to Denver.”

In December 2003, Fuqua was listed in the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of Atlanta’s Top Commercial Developers. Under Fuqua’s leadership, The Sembler Co. in Atlanta has been recognized as the “Top Retail Developer in Atlanta’ as rated by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for 10 consecutive years in a row.

The former hospital site in Denver that Sembler plans to redevelop became available as a result of the Health Sciences Center relocation to the Anschutz Medical Center in Aurora in 2007.

Shea Properties was chosen to develop the site in 2004 as the developer of the site. But the University of Colorado Denver ended its contact with Shea last February. Shea was unable to buy the first phase of the project as required, because of the downturn in the economy. Shea was going to pay $35 million for the site and had invested $6 million in it.

About Newmark Knight Frank

Newmark Knight Frank is one of the largest independent real estate service firms in the world. Headquartered in New York, Newmark Knight Frank and London-based partner Knight Frank operate from over 220 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents. With a combined staff of 7,300 and revenues last year exceeding $861 million, this major force in real estate is meeting the local and global needs of owners, tenants, investors and developers worldwide. For further information, visit www.newmarkkf.com.