Preliminary Recommendations For Lutheran Redevelopment Expected Aug. 3

SCL Health broke ground June 9 for the Clear Creek Crossing replacement hospital for Lutheran Medical Center (Photo: Neighborhood Gazette Staff)

Following two public meetings to inform and gather input from the public, the City of Wheat Ridge and SCL Health are set to present their preliminary recommendations for the redevelopment master plan of the Lutheran Medical Center campus. The public meeting is set for Aug. 3, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Wheat Ridge City Hall, 7500 W. 29th Ave., in Council Chambers.

SCL is building a replacement hospital at Clear Creek Crossing, which is expected to serve patients in mid 2024. The existing campus, which is more than 100 acres of property, is being redeveloped to better suit the needs of a rapidly changing community. SCL has planned a series of focus groups and public meetings discussing what the changes will look like, as well as gain public input.

On June 10 the city and SCL held a virtual meeting to help citizens understand the existing hospital property and the planned vision for its future. An informational self-guided public tour – both live and virtual – kicked off the process of gathering public opinion May 1.

The Lutheran Medical Center has existed in Wheat Ridge in some form or another for more than 115 years, even older than the city itself. Although originally constructed as a sanitarium to treat tuberculosis patients, the hospital’s function has evolved with the city, becoming a staple of support and connectivity to the citizens of Wheat Ridge.

The property, which was founded in 1905 as the Evangelical Lutheran Sanitarium, later became a non-profit medical facility in 1961. In the 1970s, Lutheran’s name was officially changed to the Lutheran Medical Center. This is when Lutheran first began to expand, constructing new buildings and adding to the facility’s campus, with the landmark six-story tower being added in 1973.

Throughout its history, Lutheran has developed and prospered alongside the city, being both a major employer and the largest hospital in the surrounding area. This entanglement with the city’s history means that redeveloping the campus means much more than adding new features. The master plan being developed intends to create a “long-range vision and to guide how a property can be reused in the future.” The goal is to create a planning document that will allow for future improvement of the property. There is currently no concrete design for what the master plan will be.

The remaining timeline for the redevelopment planning process includes:

  • Planning Commission & City Council study session in early August, after the visioning phase is completed
  • A public meeting on the development framework and implementation, Sept. 22, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and
  • Planning Commission & City Council hearing to adopt the plan as an amendment to the city’s Comprehensive Plan in early October.

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