Boulder Community Health announces plan to sell Broadway campus

BOULDER — Boulder Community Health has decided to sell its eight-acre campus at Broadway and Balsam Avenue in Boulder rather than renovate it, the hospital announced Tuesday.

The hospital’s board of directors had been evaluating whether to sell or renovate the buildings on the campus for an estimated $15 million. BCH has been serving patients there since 1926.

The sale would include the 260,000-square-foot hospital, 64,000-square-foot Medical Pavilion at 1155 Alpine Ave., the 21,532-square-foot Brenton Building, as well as a 410-space parking garage.

BCH spokesman Rich Sheehan said the hospital has not established an asking price.

“The property is a large piece of land in a desirable section of the city. We are going to let the market determine the price,” Sheehan said. He expects there to be a lot of interest in the property, but said there have yet to be offers.

BCH consolidated the majority of inpatient acute-care services and moved its emergency department from the Broadway campus to its new Foothills Hospital at Foothills Parkway and Arapahoe Avenue in East Boulder.

BCH plans to relocate its behavioral health and rehabilitation services from two aging facilities – Boulder Community Hospital and the Mapleton Center for Rehabilitation – to a dispersed set of newer facilities that are more centrally located for most Boulder County citizens, according to a prepared statement.

Boulder Community had planned to move most of the operations at its Mapleton campus into the Broadway building, after it sold the six buildings that made up that campus near the hospital in January for $12.9 million. It is leasing that space from the new owner through December 2015.

In a memo to employees, hospital president and chief executive David Gehant said an extended lease-back will be part of any sales agreement in order to provide sufficient time to complete the relocation of all operations. “We don’t expect to completely vacate Broadway until the end of 2017,” he wrote in the memo.  He added that the hospital still plans to leave Mapleton by the end of this year, where it provides behavioral health and rehabilitation clinical services.

Over the course of the past few years, Boulder Community Health has been buying property close to its Foothills campus in the Riverbend area.

The hospital announced a two-step approach to reorganizing rehabilitation services. In phase one, outpatient therapies will move from Mapleton to a recently purchased building at 4141 Arapahoe Ave., near the Foothills campus, by December. In phase two, the hospital will move inpatient rehabilitation services to a new site for which a search is underway.

The hospital also plans to consolidate all behavioral health services at a new location within the city of Boulder.

The hospital will move back-office business operations from Mapleton to an East Boulder location. The hospital is expecting to complete the purchase of a building for that purpose in June.

“This is a new vision for meeting a long-standing commitment,” Gehant said. “Behavioral health and rehabilitation are vital parts of our community’s health-care safety net, and we are committed to maintaining those services.”

The sale of the Broadway campus will mean the relocation of other clinical and business operations.  Eight physician clinics are currently located at the Broadway campus. Options for the BCH-owned clinics are being evaluated. The statement said the hospital will support the independent clinics in implementing the relocation plans that they develop.