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Boulder biotech firm Biodesix leases former Kohl’s store in Louisville 

LOUISVILLE — Cancer diagnostics and khaki shorts. The pair of words doesn’t really fit together in any meaningful context — except perhaps at 919 W. Dillon Road in Louisville.

The former location of a Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) clothing store has been leased by Boulder life-sciences company Biodesix Inc. (Nasdaq: BDSX), which specializes in developing tools to detect lung disease. 

Biodesix has leased the entirety of the 80,000-square-foot retail space and plans extensive renovations, including construction of a laboratory, according to builder Koelbel and Co., which will oversee the Kohl’s store transformation.

In addition to the new lab, the renovated space will include more windows, an updated facade and employee break areas. 

“As a patient-centric, mission-driven diagnostic company, community is core to the Biodesix team and culture” Biodesix CEO Scott Hutton said in a news release. “Continued growth and success in transforming the cancer standard of care, while improving cancer treatment outcomes with personalized diagnostics, created an opportunity for the Biodesix team to expand out of our current location in Boulder. We are excited to work with Koelbel to redevelop and revitalize this location in Louisville, as many of our Biodesix team members are already neighbors and active members of the community. Our team was directly impacted by the Marshall Fire, and Biodesix was proud to be part of the disaster recovery efforts. We are excited to call Louisville our new home and look forward to being an active member of the community, positively contributing to the rebuild and future growth in Louisville and the surrounding community.”

Biodesix’s expansion is the latest example of the Boulder Valley’s emergence as a nationally recognized biotechnology hub. It also demonstrates a willingness to be creative in order to find room to stretch out as an arms race of sorts is underway to build new life-sciences-centric office and lab space. 

Nearby bioscience developments in various stages of approval or construction include Redtail Ridge in Louisville, the Coal Creek Innovation Campus in Superior and the Pearl East Innovation Campus in Boulder.

While Boulder Valley municipalities have historically courted biotech companies due to the quality jobs they bring, life-sciences-centric real estate projects have become increasingly controversial in recent months with elected and appointed officials concerned about exacerbating the region’s housing-jobs imbalance.

It should be noted that the Biodesix redevelopment project is distinct from many of the other recent proposals in that a specific tenant is involved. Most of the biotech developments are being built speculatively. 

“Biodesix is a wonderful addition to Louisville’s vibrant and diverse business environment,” Louisville mayor Ashley Stolzmann said in a prepared statement. “This innovative company is pioneering critical advancements in the diagnostics testing space, and we are proud and excited to welcome them to our community.”

Kohl’s opened its Louisville location in 1999. It was among the first handful that the Wisconsin-based value clothing seller opened in Colorado, according to BizWest reporting from the time. 

Big-box retailers in Louisville, like those cities and towns across the country, have struggled in recent years with the rise of e-commerce and the outbreak of COVID-19.Developers have begun experimenting with ways of repurposing flagging retail centers. For example, a newly started redevelopment project in Broomfield aims to transform part of the aging Flatiron Crossing shopping center into a mixed-use entertainment, housing and employment district.

Source: BizWest