Apartment developer buys Baker site of pharmaceutical plant for $26M

A rendering of the proposed apartment complex to be built at 301 S. Cherokee St. (BusinessDen file)

A drugmaker ending its operations in Denver has sold the site of its Baker facility to a developer planning apartments.

Minnesota-based Upsher-Smith Laboratories’ property at 301 S. Cherokee St. was purchased last week by an entity affiliated with Austin, Texas-based Cypress Real Estate Advisors, according to public records.

Cypress paid $26.1 million for the 5.18-acre lot, according to public records. That works out to $116 a square foot.

Cypress submitted a development proposal to the city last year, calling for a seven-story, 359-unit complex on the northern portion of the parcel. The plans refer to the southern portion of the lot as a future phase of development.

A local Cypress executive did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Upsher-Smith notified the state in May 2019 that it planned to close the plant. At the time, the company said layoffs of its 174 local employees would start that August, and run through 2022.

The Upsher-Smith facility is across the street from an area dubbed Broadway Park, a big-box retail site that is gradually being redeveloped. Price Development Group and AMLI Residential are building large apartment complexes within a block.

In Denver, Cypress has been most active in the Denargo Market section of RiNo. The firm made headlines last year when City Council rejected its rezoning request for a property there on the grounds that the company’s voluntary commitment to make 10 percent of units income-restricted was not enough. Cypress bumped that up to 15 percent when it requested rezoning for an adjacent property; that request was approved.

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