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Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Colorado

Program: Base Realignment and Closure

Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Colorado

Not only does the new Innovation Campus employ 23,000 people to support the well-being and life science industries, it is also on track to be the largest medical-related redevelopment project in the country.

Fitzsimons Today

Aurora’s Fitzsimons Innovation Campus is becoming what its founders envisioned: a functioning community that directly supports the health and well-being of life science companies.  The Campus has grown from two initial clinics in 1998 to a $7 billion regional economic engine.  With 23,000 employees, there are 14 times the number of civilian positions on the site as when the base closed, as well as 4,346 health care professional students across six health professional schools.

The combined 578-acre of the Anschutz Medical Campus and the Fitzsimons Life Science District is undergoing a $4.3 billion renovation and transformation into the largest medical-related redevelopment project in the United States. 

The Anschutz Medical Campus is a 227-acre campus for the University Colorado and the University of Colorado Hospital.  All of the facilities on the campus, with the exception of the former Fitzsimons Hospital (referred to as 500 Main, or "Building 500"), are new construction.  

The Anschutz Medical Campus consists of three zones: an education zone with facilities for training in the medical and health-related fields, a research zone that houses the various graduate programs, and a clinical care zone with the University of Colorado Hospital and The Children's Hospital, the University of Colorado School of Medicine's primary adult and pediatric hospital partners, nearby.

University of Colorado Hospital is an adult and pediatric partner hospital of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  The hospital shares the Anschutz Medical Campus with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, as well as its schools of Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry.  It is the only academic hospital in the Rocky Mountain region.  The hospital buildings on the campus include the Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion, the main 400+ bed hospital; the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion, which houses many of the hospital's clinics; the Anschutz Cancer Pavilion, which houses the clinical services of the University of Colorado Cancer Center; the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute; and the Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation.  The providers at the University of Colorado Hospital are also faculty members at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The Children's Hospital is affiliated with the CU School of Medicine and offers a wide range of pediatric medical training programs for the university.  The hospital is built on the Fitzsimons Life Science District, south of the Anschutz Medical Campus.

The uniquely designed Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Building houses the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health.  The mission of these centers is "to promote the health and well-being of American Indians and Alaska Natives, of all ages, by pursuing research, training, continuing education, technical assistance, and information dissemination within a biopsychosocial framework that recognizes the unique cultural contexts of this special population."  The 3-story building contains a variety of outpatient and long-distance medical consultation services, and houses the Programs for Public Psychiatry, and the TeleHealth/TeleEducation Program Office and Resource Center.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) broke ground on a new hospital in August 2009.  It is expected to open in 2018.


The 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended closure of Fitzsimons Army Medical Center (AMC), resulting in the loss of 1,612 civilian and 1,291 military positions.  The closure of Fitzsimmons impacted an already hard-hit Denver regional economy.  The installation covered approximately 580 acres of land with 283 buildings comprising 3 million gross square feet (gsf) of floor area.  The centerpiece of the installation was an eight-story, 451,800 gsf main hospital building (Building 500) constructed in 1941.  Behind the main building were 26 smaller clinical and research related buildings containing 422,500 gsf of floor area.  The installation also included supportive residential, office, retail, industrial and recreational land uses.  Many of the buildings dated to 1918 and were considered substandard.  

The Office of Economic Adjustment supported the local redevelopment response from April 1995 through June 2002. 

In 1996, the City of Aurora and University of Colorado worked together to create the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority (FRA).  The FRA’s single mission is to imagine and govern the evolution of an historic Army Medical Center into a square mile dedicated to education, patient care and bioscience research.  In partnership with the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, the City of Aurora, The Children’s Hospital and other public entities, the FRA acquired much of the Fitzsimons site and began to implement an ambitious redevelopment plan.

An interim lease of Building 500 was executed between the Army and the City of Aurora on April 30, 1997.  That same day, the City subleased the property to the University of Colorado Health Science Center (UCHSC).  In July 1998, the interim lease was reassigned to the FRA. Renovation and occupancy of parts of Building 500 for a university hospital clinic and VA medical clinic began immediately thereafter.  The VA clinic began operation in January 1998.  The total renovation cost $20 million.  

The Army facility officially closed in 1999.  

The Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority now directs the commercial developments on the Fitzsimons Innovation Campus.  In this role, the FRA is dedicated to providing life science companies with an environment where they can thrive; success-enhancing resources like incubator facilities; and services that help form connections between private industry and the University of Colorado. 

In 2016, FRA updated its reuse plan to include additional residential, commercial and hospitality development that take advantage of a new light-rail station, and make Fitzsimmons a place where people can live, work and visit with ease.

Updated October, 2017

Point of Contact

Jeff Thompson

Vice President, Government & Corporate Relations



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