Washington State University and NexCore Group of Denver have signed a letter of intent for healthcare real estate development of the Pine Street Project at the Riverpoint Campus, the subject of a request for proposals the university published in late March 2008.
Arthritis Northwest, PLLC has been identified as the flagship tenant for the building to be developed in the first phase, and has announced their intention to bring a “Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence” to the project. In the RFP review that ended in May 2008, NexCore’s proposal was identified as the best programmatic fit for the campus for its emphasis on clinical, biomedical and health-related development.
WSU’s rapidly expanding health sciences programs are headquartered at WSU Spokane, and the Riverpoint Campus is developing with a focus on health science programs of both WSU and Eastern Washington University. “Health science programs at Riverpoint are already discussing the potential for partnerships with Arthritis Northwest and other practitioners,” said Brian Pitcher, chancellor of WSU Spokane and vice provost for WSU health sciences systemwide. “Our faculty and students will benefit from having practicing clinicians right on campus who can collaborate on research, provide practicum experience for our students, and draw people to the campus to see the exciting things happening here.” The letter of intent is a preliminary understanding of the general terms and conditions for the development, which includes a long-term ground lease, and outlines three phases for the development to be executed through three separate options in the lease.
Phase 1 includes parcels A, B, and D. New improvements include a healthcare facility of approximately 60,000 gross square feet on parcel A that will house Arthritis Northwest and other practices. Parking will also be provided in the first phase, which is expected to begin in late 2009. WSU and NexCore have agreed to work together to explore, develop, and agree on projects to be included in Phases 2 and 3. Redevelopment of the Jensen-Byrd Building will be considered in one of these future phases. Under the terms of the agreement, the development must be consistent with the Riverpoint Campus Master Plan; a process for updating the overall master plan is in the early stages.
WSU is entitled to “reasonably approve” the final plans and specifications for the development to ensure its fit.