By David Clucas

Northern Colorado developer McWHINNEY has proposed two new medical office buildings as its first development on 932 acres in northeast Broomfield.

McWHINNEY purchased the large vacant property at Interstate 25 and Colorado 7 in December 2007 for $32.5 million, but the economic downturn has since slowed its plans to start developing the mixed-used project. North Park is slated to feature an applied research corporate center, medical offices, retail, hotels and residences, with a build-out of 20 to 40 years.

On Jan. 19, McWHINNEY proposed the first of those developments with a concept plan for two new medical office buildings, totaling up to 100,000 square feet with 500 parking spaces. The buildings would sit on 8.75 acres to the south side of Colorado 7, just east of Huron Street and directly across from the new Children’s Hospital North Campus. Tenants might include medical sub-specialists with outpatient imaging and procedure services.

McWHINNEY Vice President of Development Dean Barber said that physicians have approached the company about the need for medical offices in the area to compliment the Children’s Hospital, which opened in 2008, and the new Buffalo Ridge Medical Center, which opened Jan. 18 down the street in Anthem.

Barber said McWHINNEY has preleasing requirements for the project, which will determine if it builds a 30,000-square foot or 50,000-square-foot building in the first phase. The second phase, which would feature a similar building of either size, would follow market demand.

Barber said the flexibility in the project’s proposal size is necessary to react to the current market conditions and financing environment.

“Most preleasing thresholds out there for financing today is 60 percent,” Barber said.”We’re looking to reach that between March and June of this year.”

Barber said the project will be approached as a partnership with the physicians, allowing them to co-invest in the project and gain some returns from the leasing.

Along with the new medical office buildings, McWHINNEY is also proposing 973 new apartment units at North Park. But that proposal is moving at a slower pace, Barber said.

To be called Sheridan Apartments, the rental units will sit on 32 acres at the east end of North Park on the southwest corner of Colorado 7 and Sheridan Parkway. The residential community will feature a pool, clubhouse, welcome facility, trails and open space.