RE Conference: NexCore hints at former Boulder Beer building health-care hub

CUTLINE: Former Boulder Beer Co. brewpub to be two-story life sciences space

BOULDER — Denver real estate developer and owner NexCore Group has finished construction documents for its renovation of the former Boulder Beer Co. brewpub site and looks to June for a groundbreaking and an April 2023 opening of the new space.

Ex-brewpub to be two-story life sciences space.
BizWest file photo.

The timeline is tentative, but senior vice president John Lasell told a group gathered at the Boulder Valley Real Estate Conference that the company wants to “create a destination, that’s our goal.”

NexCore in July bought the space at 2880 Wilderness Place for $4.25 million. Boulder Beer Co. closed about 18 months before. Lasell referred to the new “Wilderness Labs” facility as a “value-add life science play” and part of a possible “mini-cluster within Boulder” for similar businesses.

The space was built in the 1980s, expanded in the 1990s and was always home to Boulder Beer, founded by Frank and Gina Day. The Days sold the building to NexCore.

Alternative plans for the space had considered tearing it down for housing.

“We did a study of tech and life sciences in the area” before buying the property he said, asking “is there a creative way to save this?”

Creative

NexCore found there might be.

It looked at the nearby transit center as it was drawn to an interior with 24-feet of floor-to-ceiling space. “This was intriguing,” Lasell said.

NexCore wants to raise some walls by 10 feet and create a second story for the building, with each floor offering 15’ to 16’ feet, floor-to-ceiling. This “works within industrial zoning, maxes out the [floor area ratio] and stays under the height limit.”

A 20,000-square-foot building would morph into 32,000 square feet of rentable space — two 14,000-square-foot floors for labs and 4,000 square feet in the basement for support activities such as glass washing or “freezer farms” — banks of freezers for materials storage.

“It’s hard to find spaces with the right stuff,” Lasell said.

Paneling

Lasell offered the information during a panel discussion on lab space in the Boulder Valley. Panelist Tod Brainard, partner and chief investment officer at Boston-based Tritower Financial Group LLC, estimated that there is about 1.5 million square feet of lab space in the Boulder Valley, with demand roughly equaling it.

Erik Abrahamson, a first vice president with CBRE in Boulder, and Michelle McNamara, a senior project manager with consultants Service First Permits in Denver, were also panelists.

At one point, moderator Christopher Wood asked Lasell for a key aspect of the Boulder Beer space re-do.

“It’s all about the fermentation,” Lasell deadpanned, to general laughter from the audience.

Lasell then said the plan for the layout is to retain some aspect of the land’s historical use.

“We want to keep the beer and make it an amenity,” he said.

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC

CUTLINE: Former Boulder Beer Co. brewpub to be two-story life sciences space

BOULDER — Denver real estate developer and owner NexCore Group has finished construction documents for its renovation of the former Boulder Beer Co. brewpub site and looks to June for a groundbreaking and an April 2023 opening of the new space.

Ex-brewpub to be two-story life sciences space.
BizWest file photo.

The timeline is tentative, but senior vice president John Lasell told a group gathered at the Boulder Valley Real Estate Conference that the company wants to “create a destination, that’s our goal.”

NexCore in July bought the space at 2880 Wilderness Place for $4.25 million. Boulder Beer Co. closed about 18 months before. Lasell referred to the new “Wilderness Labs” facility as a “value-add life science play” and part of a possible “mini-cluster within Boulder” for similar businesses.

The space was built in the 1980s, expanded in the 1990s and was always home to Boulder Beer, founded by Frank and Gina Day. The Days sold the building to NexCore.

Alternative plans for the space had considered tearing it down for housing.

“We did a study of tech and life sciences in the area” before buying the property he said, asking “is there a creative way to save this?”

Creative

NexCore found there might be.

It looked at the nearby transit center as it was drawn to an interior with 24-feet of floor-to-ceiling space. “This was intriguing,” Lasell…