Open Boulder Statement on Boulder Community Hospital Purchase
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boulder, CO – July 14, 2015 – Open Boulder Foundation issued the following statement regarding the city’s proposal to enter into negotiations for the purchase of Boulder Community Hospital’s Broadway campus.
Open Boulder is concerned about reports that the City may purchase the Boulder Community Hospital (BCH) site in part to provide office space for City and County staff. The BCH site presents one of the last potential building locations in west-central Boulder, and is perhaps the most prime real estate remaining in Boulder. There is no reason why land that valuable should be dedicated to office space for City staff, particularly at a purchase price of $40 million, with several times that to be added in renovation costs (never mind potential cost overruns). Though staff office space may be currently substandard, Open Boulder places many City priorities higher, especially for this location.
Instead, the BCH site should be developed to meet key City goals, particularly in attainable housing and arts and culture programming. If it is determined that a strategy of buying the property and re-selling it for development gives the City the most leverage, the following process should be followed:
- The City must explain its goals for the property before any decisions are made about developing it.
- The City should hold open houses to solicit community ideas/preferences.
- The City must be open and transparent with its financial modeling for all options it considers for use of the property, regardless of who redevelops it, including expected losses, if any, from the series of transactions.
- The City must show how the ultimate disposition of the property will advance its goals and how community ideas and preferences were factored into the final decision.
About Open Boulder
Open Boulder is the voice of Boulder-area citizens who came to this community to live, work and play, and who want to ensure that the amazing assets that brought them here are open for all for generations to come. Our agenda covers issues Boulder residents care most about: making our government more representative, accountable and inclusive, housing more attainable, transportation more sustainable yet convenient and safe, open space more open, arts and culture a more integral part of our community, and Boulder’s entrepreneurial culture even more extraordinary.