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Steel_City_X
Jun 27, 2007, 12:37 PM
There appear to have been a couple different drawings for the project.
On July 21, 2006 the Pueblo Chieftain reported that the sale of the McCulloch Ranch was close at hand. The ranch is about 24,000 acres, right at the same size as Banning Lewis Ranch.

Stories are that they have spoken to both Fountain and Pueblo about possible annexation. Given that they hired the former Pueblo Planning Director, the guess is that they lean towards Pueblo. the question is whether they get to annex to either city with little plans set in concrete, of have a good binding document.

Colorado Real Estate Journal showed that the ranch sold first for about 16 million and within a couple days it resold for 48 million to a group out of Las Vegas. I would love to make that kind of money on my house in Pueblo.:D

Heard that the firm doing the work is out of Phoenix area with office in Denver and Las Vegas. Since things are preliminary, only rumors exist about the size of the project. As mentioned, Banning Lewis with 70,000+ dwelling units is similar to the word on the street.

Golf courses and lakes. The site was considered by the Corps of Engineers for a flood control reservoir back in the 1970's. They will need some storage of water. Given the Vagas connection, it would make sence to have golf courses to create the Palm Springs image.

Water-given that Pueblo have water restrictions in the 2002-2003 era, not sure where the water for nearly double the number of existing homes will come from. Board of Water Works has something like 40,000 taps - this project is about double the existing.

Municipality- it is always an option, but water is the problem. Pueblo approved some weird Urban Renewal Areas with TIF, BID ands PIF's involved to pay for infrastructure. Likely it would be a municipal district within a city. Maybe something like the old Stapleton in Denver.

Pueblo has never met a developer that they didn't like. And factoring in the Vegas connection in addition to the history of Pueblo (see Rick Porrello at AmericanMafia.com) concrete negotiation takes on a WHOLE different meaning.

It will be interesting to see if the community supports something that is three times as dense as is Pueblo West and understand how PW has negatively impacted the older parts of Pueblo.

TheMetaphysicist
Jun 27, 2007, 2:11 PM
frg-

this is the first time I've ever seen that website, but my guess is that it has been around awhile because on the homepage under the "news and events" section it highlights an article with a date of 10/26/2005. Hopefully, the "initial plans" for ppp will squeak through.

citycenter
Jun 27, 2007, 7:31 PM
Steel City - I take it you're not Italian by backgroun? :D

It is interesting to see how Pueblo West has effected the community. Developers are now using it in a positive way as leverage the City of Pueblo in order to get projects approved. What most people do not realize is that only 54% of Pueblo West is actually built-out!

Pueblo will never be a competition for major growth, no matter how many proposals get put on the table. There is not enough economic stimulation or desire for such to ever support a larger growth rate. Unfortunately, I too feel that is is yet another cause of the insider dealings in that town that have prohibited the area from exploding. Many companies have tried to locate to or expand in Pueblo and have been rejected when a select few could not directly benefit from the transactions (mainly the Carleo & Fortino factions).

The most unfortunate thing about Pueblo I feel is that the creation of PEDCO was nothing more than a fundraising vehicle for a few local families and there will never be any accountability for the tax dollars poored into that organization. :hell:

Front_Range_Guy
Jun 27, 2007, 7:48 PM
I checked archive.org, and I was right. Nor'wood has recently re-launched their website. They probably just migrated the old news and events section over to the newer site. I think we can take this as good news. With all due caution, of course.

This massive sprawling project in Pueblo County... would this be along I-25 or significantly east? Would annexation by Pueblo essentially push Pueblo's city limits to the county line? Wouldn't this mean Pueblo is doing that which makes them loathe Colorado Springs? Who will they blame when their massive new suburb spills sewage into the creek? I don't like this one bit... from what I've read so far, anyway.

Steel_City_X
Jun 28, 2007, 12:52 PM
I want to thank Squirrel Creek Energy for the map below.

The local factions have shifted. Tony Fortino is really out of the picture due to health issues. Added to the picture - Cingular Building, HARP-Phase III is Dan DeRose. Their family recently sold a chain of childrens medicaid clinics for 500 million. Rumor is that he got over 20% of that amount. They are the principal backers of the CSU-Pueblo football restart. The Firm that is involved is LDM - Loie, Dan, Mike (Roumph).

It is a shame that Pueblo has not looked to learn from areas where there have been growth issues. For too long - maybe 40 years the influence peddlers have wanted to see Pueblo grow and return to it "rightful place as Colorado's second largest city".

I've had my share of issues with the 'good ol' boys' and had to file a police report about 5 years ago. Needless to say, charges were never filed because they could not prove that I was threatened. There were three witnesses - all business associates, who admitted the fourth got mad, but never threatened the guy (me). I don't believe that anyone should be treated in a manner not consistent with the treatment of the Public. But then again, I'm not from Pueblo and did not attend High School here. The High School bit is appearently the right to be involved, or connected is connected to which high school you graduated from. It seems to be one of the first questions you are asked when you meet someone new - "where'd you's graduated at?";)

http://www.squirrelcreekenergy.com/south/Future%20Land%20Use%20Map%208-14-06.pdf

Front_Range_Guy
Jun 28, 2007, 7:28 PM
Uneven population shifts
Monument, Fountain growing; things aren’t as good in Cripple Creek, Victor
THE GAZETTE
June 28, 2007 - 6:02AM


COLORADO SPRINGS

The city inched up in a nationwide ranking, going from 49th-biggest in 2005 to 48th last year. Similar-size cities include Arlington, Texas, and Minneapolis. The rankings don’t account for suburbs. Adding those in, Colorado Springs is more like the size of Wichita, Kan.

FOUNTAIN

Officials are working long hours to respond to requests from developers to build new neighborhoods and businesses. A City Council meeting mainly on the subject lasted until after 1 a.m. Wednesday, said Mayor Jeri Howells.

“It’s like this just on a continual basis,” she said.

More growth is likely in the next several years as new soldiers are assigned to neighboring Fort Carson.

MANITOU SPRINGS

Big population growth isn’t likely any time soon.

“Manitou is pretty much landlocked,” said Leslie Lewis, director of the Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.

Residents mostly like it that way, Lewis said. The town has worked to cater to tourists, sprucing up Manitou Avenue downtown. Small population growth could come from redevelopment projects, including a building that opened recently downtown with lofts and retail spaces. Rehab is under way on the old Manitou Spa building, which will also include lofts and businesses.

MONUMENT

People are moving to Monument in droves because “It’s a good place to live,” said Mayor Byron Glenn.

The town has added more than 1,000 acres to its borders during the past couple of years and still has space for about 2,000 more homes. The population could easily double during the next decade, Glenn said.

PALMER LAKE

Palmer Lake added an estimated 96 people to its population from 2000 to last year, a slow growth rate compared with neighboring Monument. The town had fewer than 300 people for decades after it was formed in 1889, but starting in the 1950s it’s grown 56 percent each decade on average.

CALHAN

As with other small towns, just a couple of families moving in or out can make a difference in Calhan. The population increased 59 percent during the 1990s but has since declined 3 percent. Randy Pieper of Farmer’s State Bank in Calhan said he sees little change coming.

“With the increasing gas prices, people are just not wanting to live 35 miles from where they work,” Pieper said. “The people who are out here are out here because they chose to not live in Colorado Springs.”

GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS

The population increased more than twofold during the 1960s and 1970s and increased steadily through the turn of the century, but it’s been flat since 2000.

Town voters moved to improve the streets in 2004 by joining the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority along with other local governments to levy a 1 percent sales tax.

RAMAH

El Paso County’s smallest town was formed in 1927, and three years later a government count put the population at 171 people. The peak population came in 1940 with 186 residents.

Among 271 incorporated cities and towns statewide, Ramah is smaller than all but 18.

CRIPPLE CREEK

Once dominated by the mining industry, Cripple Creek’s population was nearly 10 times its current size at the first official count, in 1900. The population hit a low of 425 in 1970. State voters approved casino gambling there in the 1990s, but lately city officials have been boosting Cripple Creek’s mining heritage.

WOODLAND PARK

Woodland Park’s population has grown modestly during recent years, but the town appears to be on the cusp of big changes. A Wal-Mart Supercenter is expected to open later this summer, a full-service hospital is supposed to open in August, and the city is embarking on a huge redevelopment project downtown.

VICTOR

The population of Victor has been on a mostly steady decline since the first government count in 1900 found 4,986 people living there. By 2000, the population count was 445 people. Among the town’s 247 residents who were employed that year, 61 percent went outside Victor to their jobs.

DENVER

Colorado’s biggest city continues as the linchpin of a metropolitan area that dominates the state’s economy. Denver’s population growth was much slower than some of its suburbs — Commerce City was up 85 percent since 2000 to an estimated 38,887 residents, and Broomfield was up nearly 18 percent to 45,116 people.

PUEBLO

Once Colorado’s second-largest city, Pueblo’s population has barely changed since 1970, when a government count found 97,774 residents.

Steel_City_X
Jun 28, 2007, 8:11 PM
Professional Bull Riders:

http://homepage.mac.com/ahlenius/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2007-06-28%2013.06.38%20-0700/Image-678340F525B211DC.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/ahlenius/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2007-06-28%2013.06.38%20-0700/Image-6783AE2E25B211DC.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/ahlenius/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2007-06-28%2013.06.38%20-0700/Image-6782E1BA25B211DC.jpg

Steel_City_X
Jun 28, 2007, 8:16 PM
Cingular (now AT&T) Call Center:

http://homepage.mac.com/ahlenius/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2007-06-28%2013.06.38%20-0700/Image-6784922625B211DC.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/ahlenius/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2007-06-28%2013.06.38%20-0700/Image-6785016825B211DC.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/ahlenius/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2007-06-28%2013.06.38%20-0700/Image-6785424825B211DC.jpg

Steel_City_X
Jun 28, 2007, 8:21 PM
HARP including the Expansion towards Convention Center.

http://homepage.mac.com/ahlenius/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2007-06-28%2013.06.38%20-0700/Image-6785647525B211DC.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/ahlenius/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2007-06-28%2013.06.38%20-0700/Image-678584C425B211DC.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/ahlenius/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2007-06-28%2013.06.38%20-0700/Image-678452F425B211DC.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/ahlenius/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2007-06-28%2013.06.38%20-0700/Image-6784339D25B211DC.jpg

wong21fr
Jun 28, 2007, 8:50 PM
Nice pictures, thanks Steel City.

nearer_north_end
Jun 28, 2007, 10:59 PM
Yes, thanks Steel City. Very interesting. It is nice to see a downtown in a small -- and underespected - city really putting the muscle in to revitalize the core. After all, what is Pueblo? It is the city...not a bunch of sprawling houses in the suburbs. Somebody explain that to Colorado Springs as well.

Cool that those employment centers are right downtown and on the Riverwalk allowing workers to enjoy a stroll to local lunch spots or a quick sanity break outside. Thumbs up.

It is almost sad Co Springs and Pueblo can't be morphed together to form some sort of worthwhile city. Pueblo could certainly use the scenery and the respect and Co Springs could certainly use the downtown thinking and the water - for God's sake the water. :yes:

nearer_north_end
Jun 29, 2007, 12:40 AM
Opinion time: Is there a reason Pueblo is so productive at downtown development (relatively speaking) compared with much bigger Co Springs?

Is it govt involvement?
Is it the fact there is no real suburban commerce center (like Northgate in Co springs) or suburban housing bloc (like E. Powers) sucking the attention away?

I'm curious. How is it they can get hotels downtown, children's museum, Riverwalk, businesses to set up shop, etc. whereas Co Springs just sort of shrugs their shoulders.

I have an answer too, but I'm wondering what you guys think.

Front_Range_Guy
Jun 29, 2007, 12:48 AM
:previous:

Blue city versus red city. Different values. Vision versus lack of vision. I could go on... I've developed a very high opinion of Pueblo in the last two years, which is why I was so disheartened to read about this "Pueblo Ranch" development. Puebloans are willing to invest in their city. People in Colorado Springs generally want their city improved, but they aren't willing to pay for it. They expect the private sector to foot the bill. I think city government is starting to realize this has to change... I don't know how you convince a bunch fiscal conservatives of that.

Thanks for the photos steel city x. That call center building is really nice... and has brought important jobs downtown.

Front_Range_Guy
Jun 29, 2007, 1:27 AM
btw... this was posted on newspeakblog.com and I thought it was kinda funny. It was taken in Colorado Springs.

http://www.newspeakblog.com/the_blog/images/2007/06/28/100_1903.jpg

Damn librials.:haha:

nearer_north_end
Jun 29, 2007, 2:31 AM
The beauty of that Riverwalk is they seem to be able to route it to quite a few places using what, I'm assuming, is existing flood area. It doesn't appear to require a great amount of depth either. I swear, they are light years ahead of COS. That doesn't mean Pueblo is poised to become a great city, but they are certainly upgrading their downtown and making it an inviting option for people.

Front_Range_Guy
Jun 29, 2007, 3:23 AM
:previous:

True. The fact is, Pueblo probably has almost as much working against it as it does working for it... but the city has vision and the balls to get things done, and that's worth something. Certainly there is potential there...

TheMetaphysicist
Jun 29, 2007, 3:36 AM
I'm about to state the obvious, but here are my two cents:

The way I see it is that P-town has the same size downtown as C-Springs. Because of Pueblo's smaller suburban-urban ratio, more people will be affected (and care about) the direction that the town goes in, so there will be more support. Colorado Springs has an urban population of less than 100,000 so that's about 1/4 of the voting population for city projects - and a democracy requires half. So frg, whatever happened to that crazy idea of westside and downtown seceding from el paso county so that some of these projects can receive gov't funding? (jk, but seriously...)

Steel_City_X
Jun 29, 2007, 3:57 AM
I really liked the call center downtown as a way to support local restaurants, but they have a full service facility inside run by Rosario's, so not as much support for business's outside the building.

How to get things downtown. Lots of public subsidy.
Express Scripts:
Professional Bull Riders
Cingular
Parking Garage
Convention Center
QualMed Building
JC Penny Building
Marriot Hotel
Parking Garage
El Pueblo Museum
S.E. Colorado Heritage Center
New Police Building
New Health Department- close
Convention Center Expansion

Pueblo is very interesting. Whereas east coast cities have blight in the center, Pueblo has a great center, and blight everywhere else. Not really. As much as I get frustrated with the lack of appearent concern about the residents, the community really pulls together to back and support these projects. The HARP is amazing after 10 or 11 p.m., lots of people hanging out in the area. The opening of the bullriders will be interesting to see what that does to downtown. Not sure how many people will move to Pueblo County from El Paso County with the relocation of their jobs. Even if they left in 6 month's, it is a nice looking building.


Given the amazing focus and sucess within downtown, it is frustrating to drive through the neighborhoods and see so many homes with a sign taped to the front window indicating that the home has been weatherized and is in the forclosure process. Some homes are simply boarded up and left til some later date. Then it is too easy to buy these, throw a little paint, cheap carpet and rent them to someone who does not care for the property. This is tough, because Pueblo has an amazing history with a very high percentage of people who own their homes free and clear.

I did give a tour to someone, from Vermont, who is driving across the country along Hwy 50 from the east coast to West Sacramento. He did notice the conditions, but indicated that there were not huge areas of vacant lots and abandoned buildings. I explained that many of the things that people dislike are off-set by the low cost of housing within the city. Getting a few more people buying older homes in the tree lined neighborhoods and working to fix up the properties. This is a good thing to see.

The economic flight to PW and the Mesa in the last 10-12 years, the people left behind have so little financial resources, that they are just surviving. It will be very interesting to see what manifests as the new vision. What you see was envisioned something like 15-20 years ago and was the singular focus of MILLIONS and MILLIONS - 150 + of money for all the various projects downtown.

I look forward to seeing more about the HARP phase III project. More than 150K of commercial space and a downtown movie complex. I need to see how the Brighton Pavillions are doing. More building should start this summer along HARP.

Pueblo is like wearing a pair of polyester pants with and elastic waist - it may not be really fashionable, but boy it is comfortable.....

Steel_City_X
Jun 29, 2007, 3:58 AM
Double quote - must find delete function....:koko:

Front_Range_Guy
Jun 29, 2007, 4:55 AM
I'm about to state the obvious, but here are my two cents:

The way I see it is that P-town has the same size downtown as C-Springs. Because of Pueblo's smaller suburban-urban ratio, more people will be affected (and care about) the direction that the town goes in, so there will be more support. Colorado Springs has an urban population of less than 100,000 so that's about 1/4 of the voting population for city projects - and a democracy requires half. So frg, whatever happened to that crazy idea of westside and downtown seceding from el paso county so that some of these projects can receive gov't funding? (jk, but seriously...)


There is a level of apathy about downtown amongst Colorado Springs residents. I think the penrose fountain is an example of the fact that if attractions are built downtown, people will utilize them. On the other hand, most people will be just as content if nothing changes downtown. As far as I'm concerned, they are irrelevent. They are our suburbanites. We need to improve downtown for those 100,000 urban residents who want a better downtown, for the economic health of the metro area, and to retain and attract the young creative class into the city. The last thing I want to see is the evangelicals up north coming into downtown and suburbanizing it. We need to be attracting the right people into downtown to make it thrive. As for the new county idea... I don't know how serious that proposal is. I've heard Mike Merrifields name tossed around in the discussion... but I would imagine it's not much more than an idea at this point. It's definitely something I will push for as I continue to become more involved in the community because I think it would be a win/win.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 2, 2007, 6:04 AM
http://s28.photobucket.com/albums/c243/Chris80906/?action=view&current=RR5.jpg

wong21fr
Jul 2, 2007, 2:34 PM
Another thing that would be a huge boon to Pueblo, if money was no object, would be relocating the CSU-Pueblo campus to downtown Pueblo. Talk about another catalyst!

Maybe if CO can actually get the balls to acknowledge that higher education needs a major funding boost and do something about it.

Steel_City_X
Jul 3, 2007, 12:50 PM
I agree that the campus, which has always been a good example of correctional architecture IMO, would be better off centrally located. I hear that the FOF, Friends of Footbal, have purchased the land located east of the existing campus and are planning to develop a commercial core for the heart of the campus. They are building a new football stadium and will be creating a new entry to the college off of Rawlings Drive. Rumor even that they have an option on the PPIR in order to relocated the stands from PPIR to the football stadium at CSU-P.

The secondary use of the stadium would be for the "Professional Football Team" that one of the FOF members wants to buy. Still trying to get through the rumors - one has him trying to buy Tampa, others possibly lean towards the new league Mark Cuban wants to form. Professional football in Pueblo, I think that they should be called the Pueblo Public Stealers, given all the public money they received.

But with the Pueblo Springs Ranch, the CSU-P campus will be located in the center of the City of Pueblo. :speech: We will have the rich nice area on the northside of the community and the poor minority community on the south side.:speech:

Elected leaders support education? That would potentially make more people smarter than the elected officials. Oh, I guess that is already the case in most instances.

Better take my meds this morning, getting too agitated for my own good.:cheers:

citycenter
Jul 3, 2007, 2:32 PM
so, out of curiosity SteelCity, what are your thoughts on the SouthPoint Development? I Personally think that it will be the catalyst for change in south pueblo and will hopefully help the south side catch up to the wealth of the north end....

Related to downtown - Have they started construction on the Cambria Suites Hotel?

Paulopolis
Jul 3, 2007, 5:29 PM
Another thing that would be a huge boon to Pueblo, if money was no object, would be relocating the CSU-Pueblo campus to downtown Pueblo. Talk about another catalyst!

That is such a great idea! CSU (back when it was SCSC before even becoming USC) was located at Pueblo Community College's current campus in central Pueblo. If the people then had any foresight they would have seen what a boon for central Pueblo a college campus would be, i.e. CU-Boulder and CSU in Ft. Collins. The Mesa Junction and Union St corridors in Pueblo would be hopping right now.

Steel_City_X
Jul 4, 2007, 4:36 AM
I would love to see SouthPointe be more of a catalyst, but the demographics are just not there right now. I'll be interested how the Lowes ends up looking, being it was a PUD and was not subject to the same design standards as was Pueblo Crossing. Hwy 50 corridor has much better demographics than does the south side. El Camino and University Park are very similar, but the 50 corridor has all the wealth of Pueblo West. It will be intgeresting how SouthPointe does after Pueblo Springs Ranch starts moving.

Cambria is a hole in the ground right now. They have not completed development approvals as I understand. They did a foundation only permit, so they can work for a month of so, but not much further.

citycenter
Jul 5, 2007, 3:04 AM
I have seen some rederings of the Lowe's. It looks quite nice! They were subject to architectural standards in the PUD. The city required the developer to use "Spanish Revival" architectural themes. I heard that the retail center planned for that development also will be subject to the same design criteria as the Lowe's. Who is the developer of the Lowe's project?

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 6, 2007, 9:09 PM
Maybe it's just fear mongering, but there is speculation that the failure of the pinon canyon expansion could ultimately lead to the closure of Fort Carson. Obviously this would be devestating for Colorado Springs, and Colorado. El Paso County would probably lose, what? 150,000 right out the gate if that were to happen? I wonder though... do you think Colorado Springs would ultimately be better off without Fort Carson... or do you think it would give the evangelicals a chance to swope in and take complete control of the devastated town?

wong21fr
Jul 6, 2007, 9:43 PM
What failure of the Pinon Canyon Expansion? As I see it, it's going to happen, just not in the next two years.

It comes down to this, the Army does not have many post capable of supporting armored/mechanized units for large-scale maneuvers. Fort Carson is one of those and it's not going anywhere and it will get the maneuver area expansion.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 6, 2007, 10:18 PM
What failure of the Pinon Canyon Expansion? As I see it, it's going to happen, just not in the next two years.

It comes down to this, the Army does not have many post capable of supporting armored/mechanized units for large-scale maneuvers. Fort Carson is one of those and it's not going anywhere and it will get the maneuver area expansion.

Really? Even with so much momentum against it? It kinda seems like the only ones who want this to happen are the army and the leaders of Colorado Springs... though ultimately I don't imagine the state would be willing to risk losing Fort Carson.

Steel_City_X
Jul 6, 2007, 11:05 PM
The vision of Ft. Carson was to be much larger years ago. I've seen maps from 60's-70's showing ft. carson extending south of Hwy 50 all the way to the Pueblo Reservoir. Amphibious landings would have been cool to see.

I think that the state would really need to take to good look at the cost of losing the economic impact of Ft. Carson. There is effort against it, but if you look at the front range, ranches are vanishing as more development occurs. I hope that they get a good buffer around whatever land they end up with.

Colorado is supposedly the second greatest concentration of federal employees after the D.C. area. I think that this something that we will see more of in the next decade. More and more government functions moved away from the coast. Luckily, we have generally better weather in southern Colorado than up north. This will be in our benefit in the next decade.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 8, 2007, 5:44 PM
I guess this is what those surveryors I saw a couple of weeks ago were doing...

Downtown giant has a new owner
No plans for energy firm to move from 14-story building
By RICH LADEN
THE GAZETTE
July 6, 2007 - 11:21PM

One of downtown Colorado Springs’ tallest and most prominent office buildings has a new owner, but a Texas energy company that occupies much of the building isn’t going anywhere.

Colorado Square, a 242,000-square-foot, 14-story building on the northwest corner of Pikes Peak and Nevada avenues, was bought this week by DPC Development Co., a privately owned suburban Denver company with other holdings in the Springs.

DPC Development paid $25.2 million for the building, said Michael Palmer, a broker with NAI Highland Commercial Group, a Springs brokerage. Palmer and NAI Highland’s Jim Spittler represented the building’s former owners, a General Motors employee pension fund, in the sale.

Colorado Square is one of downtown’s largest office buildings, and its 14 stories match that of the FirstBank — formerly Holly Sugar — Building. The Wells Fargo Bank has the most stories in the city, at 15. Both of those buildings also are downtown.

Colorado Square was developed in 1976 by a partnership including Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz, one of Colorado’s richest people, Spittler said.

About 90 percent of the building is occupied by 540 employees of El Paso Natural Gas Corp. and Colorado Interstate Gas, subsidiaries of parent Houston-based El Paso Corp., said corporate spokesman Robert Newberry.

El Paso Corp. has two years to run on its lease, and there have been no discussions about what to do when the lease runs out, Newberry said.

Colorado Square is part of downtown’s core and a block from the Tejon Street retail corridor.

Across the street, two development companies plan multistory, mixed-use projects that could bring more of a buzz to that part of downtown.

“It’s a landmark building for downtown Colorado Springs and holds one of Colorado Springs’ largest employers,” Palmer said. “It makes sense for someone to invest in that kind of property.”

DPC Development representatives couldn’t be reached for comment. The firm paid $4.6 million in April 2006 to buy the One Commerce Center building on the city’s north side. The firm previously owned the Research Corporate Center and Garden Gateway Plaza buildings on the city’s north and northwest side, respectively.

CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0228 or rich.laden@gazette.com

Denver Dweller
Jul 10, 2007, 11:44 PM
Pueblo hotels and motels seeing large increase in business this year. Holiday blizzard didn't hurt, either.

By JAMES AMOS
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

Spurred by two big months, Pueblo's lodging tax collections have jumped 23 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2006.

Hotels and motels collected over 40 percent more in lodging taxes in January and March of this year, and at least 14 percent more than last year for each month of 2007 through June.

The surge in collections, as reported by the city's finance department, shows that Pueblo has reached a new plateau in visitors and room availability, according to Rod Slyhoff, the president of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber receives a portion of the city's lodging tax in order to promote tourism while the city keeps the remainder, so the higher collections are good news all around.

The lodging tax is 4.3 percent, and is collected on top of the regular sales taxes, Slyhoff said. The total collected for the first half of this year is about $362,000, up about $68,000 over the same period in 2006. In all last year, the city collected about $750,000, much of that total in the busy months of July, August and September.

Slyhoff said the collections reported for each month reflect the rooms rented during the previous month, so it was December 2006 and February 2007 that saw huge increases in hotel-room usage.

The December jump probably reflects the effects of blizzards that struck Southeast Colorado near Christmas, Slyhoff said.

"We literally had two weekends where we were full," he said. "There were no rooms at the inn."

And hotels "weren't charging $29.95 a night," he said. Hotels hike their rates when rooms are in short supply, so snow-bound travelers probably paid a premium, he said.

In February, Slyhoff said Pueblo had several events that brought large numbers of visitors to Pueblo, including an ice-skating competition and a convention by Loaf'N Jug employees.

Slyhoff said there are several reasons for the higher lodging tax collections in general. Pueblo's hotel rooms are getting used more often, and therefore warrant higher rates, he said, because the chamber and other groups have worked for years to fill Pueblo's special-events calendar to give the city a steady stream of business. The Little Britches Rodeo, Chili and Frijole Festival, Street Rods convention and other events regularly pack area hotels and restaurants on weekends.

Several hotels have been built in Pueblo in recent years, and now the city's busy calendar is able to fill the extra rooms on a consistent basis, he said.

The challenge now is to come up with events for weekends that aren't already being used by another event, Slyhoff said.

Pueblo County has about 2,200 hotel and motel rooms, most of them within the city, according to Slyhoff, and plans for at least two more hotels will boost that number to about 2,500 in a few years.

©1996-2007The Pueblo Chieftain Online

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 12, 2007, 5:28 PM
Looks like I'm in the right business. Hopefully there isn't a "news bubble" :haha:

KOAA adds 2 new programs to long list of local newscasts
ANDREW WINEKE Gazette TV columnist
THE GAZETTE
July 12, 2007 - 6:23AM


I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I’m here to tell you that yet another local television station is launching yet another local newscast.

Two, in fact.

Beginning Monday, KOAA/Channels 5&30 will add 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. news programs on its News First Now cable channel (Comcast channel 9). KOAA hired a new anchor for the shows, Laura Rojas, and brought on meteorologist Mike Madson full time to be the weather anchor.

If you’re keeping score, there are now three early-morning local newscasts — soon to be four, when KXRM/Channel 21 launches its 7 a.m. show next month. Next, we’ll be able to view one newscast at 11 a.m., two at noon, one at 4 p.m., one at 4:30 p.m., two at 5 p.m., one at 5:30 p.m., two at 6 p.m., one at 6:30 p.m. (on KKTV’s MyKKTV digital channel), three at 9 p.m. (KXRM, MyKKTV and News First Now) and three at 10 p.m.

That, my friends, is a lot of news for our little town.

“We are in the service business and we have to provide newscasts when people want them,” KOAA news director Cindy Aubrey said.

KOAA wants the 4 p.m. news to be lighter and more personal than its regular 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

“One thing we really wanted to do was increase viewer involvement in the show,” said Aaron Inver, producer of the new 4 and 9 p.m. newscasts.

And, given that storms invariably arrive in the late afternoon here, it will be weather-centric.

“If Mike Madson needs to do the weather for 15 minutes straight because we have developing severe weather, the luxury is there,” Aubrey said.

As a bonus, if you’ve been dying to spend a little quality time in The Gazette newsroom — and who hasn’t? — KOAA’s 4 p.m. newscast may scratch that itch.

Putting newspaper reporters on television may sound like a mad scientist’s experiment. The reality should be a little more prosaic: One Gazette reporter will come on about 4:13 p.m. each day to do a two-minute question and answer with Rojas.

Gazette military reporter Tom Roeder will talk about the latest developments on Mondays, food editor Teresa Farney goes on Tuesdays, sports columnist Milo Bryant on Wednesdays, entertainment editor Warren Epstein on Thursdays and outdoors reporter Dave Philipps on Fridays.

Gazette managing editor Larry Ryckman said the segments won’t be scripted, and he doesn’t expect the reporters to wear makeup or learn how to read a teleprompter. Nor, thank goodness, will people in the newsroom have to clean their desks.

“For now, I think we’ll be well served to be ourselves,” Ryckman said. “What you see is what you get with The Gazette. . . . We won’t be performing; we’re just going to be talking about things we know well.”

A final note: You’ll notice I was not invited to the TV party. I’m pretty sure a TV writer going on TV to talk about what’s on TV is circular enough to make you dizzy.

For the record, I wasn’t involved with setting up or implementing the Gazette-KOAA partnership, nor asked to change my television coverage because of it. And I promise to greet NBC’s fall schedule with the mixture of derision and pity it deserves.

If, however, you spy me in the background wearing a tie and sporting a set of hair plugs, feel free to smack me upside the noggin.

CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0275 or awineke@gazette.com

citycenter
Jul 13, 2007, 2:42 PM
It would seem to me that maybe the state needs to hold on on preserving any more "open space" and start diverting some GOCO funds to the state highway project. Colorado already has some of the highest priced gas in the country. If they raise the tax, that will just slow our economy even further. There needs to be some accountability for the proceeds the state already collects for transportation. We already have high tourism tax, where the hell does that money go? I'm not opposed to paying tax, I just want to get something in return for my tax dollars!! It seems in Colorado our taxes keep moving upward, but our services are disappearing. :koko:


By MARGIE WOOD
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

The cost to meet all of Colorado's highway needs might be $60 billion over the next 25 years, and Gov. Bill Ritter has appointed a 32-member blue-ribbon panel to assess the needs and recommend ways to pay for the solution.

On Thursday, the panel met at the Pueblo Convention Center to hear about Southeastern Colorado's piece of the puzzle.

"We've been patching the problems for years and years," said state Sen. Abel Tapia, D-Pueblo. "We need a comprehensive plan to really solve the problems."

Carla Perez of the governor's office, setting the stage for the discussion, said the state hasn't invested enough in transportation for a long time. The gasoline tax hasn't increased for 17 years, so general fund money has been taken from other purposes to be used on highways, setting up endless debates in the Legislature.

Besides recommending a stable revenue stream for transportation, Perez said, issues before the group should include what will be the state's role in mass transit and whether the state roadway system should be redefined by transferring some parts of it to local governments.

State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, one of three co-chairs of the blue-ribbon panel, said, "We're faced with systemic challenges, and supplementing the Highway Users Tax Fund with general fund money is not a long-term solution for highway funding." Priorities in Southeastern Colorado include the age-old idea of widening U.S. 50 to four lanes from Pueblo to the Kansas border, completing reconstruction of the Interstate 25 bridge in Trinidad, running "reliever lanes" around Lamar to move the heavy truck traffic off city streets, and realigning I-25 through Pueblo.

Bill Moore, the transportation planner for Pueblo Area Council of Governments, said the local I-25 project would cost $1.2 billion, compared to identifiable state and federal revenue of $100 million.

"If we banked all our revenue and saved it up for I-25, it would take 375 to 500 years to pay for it," he said.

And although Pueblo's traffic is growing at an urban pace and its planning needs are the same as large urban areas, its population base of under 200,000 people doesn't provide a comparable level of funding. A "small urban" funding program ended in 2003.

Tim Harris, Region 2 director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, said, "If we continue at the current rate of funding, 76 percent of our highways will be in poor conduction by 2026. We're optimists - we're trying to study some projects just in case we do get some money, but right now we just don't have a stable source of funding."

Matt Heimerich, a Crowley County commissioner speaking for Action 22, said the state and federal governments "have dumped millions into our region to help our economic development efforts. Now we need a 21st century transportation system to make use of our resources."

Pete Fraser of the South-Central Council of Government, which includes Huerfano and Las Animas counties, said the scenic "Highway of Legends" appeals to tourists, but also is heavily used by methane gas trucks and heavy equipment, causing rocks to fall and creating a real safety problem.

Heavy trucks using the highways en route to Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site also are causing major potholes, she said.

State Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, said four-laning U.S. 50 would provide direct relief of congestion on Interstate 70, "and we would gladly accept that commerce."

As the panel broke for lunch, McFadyen was strong-arming people to accompany her to see a box culvert under I-25 at the Pinon exit.

"We have five of these box culverts that aren't wide enough to be considered bridges for federal funding," she said. "You can see the paint scraped off trucks on the sides of the culverts. They're obsolete and they're not safe."

Greg Severance, Pueblo County's public works director, said the state and federal regulations, often in conflict with each other, cause a lot of money to be spent on studies, without doing any actual highway work.

"It's like going through open-heart surgery when a package of Rolaids would get you back to work," he said.

Sal Pace of U.S. Rep. John Salazar's office noted that federal highway funds earmarked for widening U.S. 50 are going to be applied to install passing lanes as a safety improvement while the entire project is under study.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 13, 2007, 4:06 PM
I'm against diverting goco funds... but now is not the time to increase the gas tax.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 13, 2007, 4:08 PM
Ritter Recognizes Colorado Pride Fest

July 13, 2007 08:54 AM MDT

by: Nina Sparano
n.sparano@krdotv.com

COLORADO SPRINGS - Governor Bill Ritter issues a proclamation supporting this year's Colorado Springs Pride Fest. This will be the 17th year for the event, and the first time a governor has recognized it. In an open letter, Ritter said the event instills quote: "A sense of inclusion and diversity throughout the state." Meanwhile, Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera announced last Friday that he will not sign a proclamation recognizing the event. Pride fest is scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 15 from 10 a.m. To 6 p.m. In Acacia Park.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 14, 2007, 3:59 PM
I just read on newsblab.com that there finally seems to be some ground moving at the Pikes Peak Plaza site on the eastern edge of downtown. I don't know a whole lot about this project... it seems to be multiple commercial buildings, none over three stories. I'm not terribly excited about it... except for the fact that it would fill in a big open tract of land downtown.

citycenter
Jul 16, 2007, 2:50 AM
I'm speechless after reading this garbage. No words can describe my disgust for the state of colorado and the terrible anti-business politics that have prevailed. Our school system is a joke, our roads are in need of "$60 Billion" in improvements, and our economy is completely dead...... And these fools will spend time and money to preserve land that should be set aside for DEVELOPMENT. Why can't they be smart about it and preserve the land in the MOUNTAINS???? That is where the trees, animals, water supply all need protection. Yet they insist on preserving brown fields on the edges of our cities to stifle growth. I can't wait until my permanent home in NOT in Colorado and I don't have to give these dumb shits another penny! :yuck:

_________________________________________________________
Saving space
Conservationists and ranchers are working to put aside 200,000 acres to protect the land forever — piece by piece
By DAVE PHILIPPS
THE GAZETTE
July 15, 2007 - 11:04AM

Jay Frost always figured he would have to sell part of the ranch his father built south of Colorado Springs, but he never thought he’d feel good about it.

Then, in June, the second generation cattle rancher and his sister, Ferris Frost, sold the development rights on 915 acres along Fountain Creek, east of the Pikes Peak International Raceway. The land was put in a conservation easement, which means the fields will remain undeveloped forever.

Conservation easements keep the land private but take away the right to develop the property. In exchange, the landowner gets tax breaks and is often paid by a conservation group.

“Our family always loved this place, but agriculture can be a tough racket,” said Jay Frost, 46, recently while taking a break from mowing hay with his sons. “It would be easy to sell the place. We get offers all the time. This way, we get some of the value while keeping the ranch on the land.”

The easement is the keystone of a plan called the Peak to Prairie Conservation Initiative to preserve a vast swath between Colorado Springs and Pueblo. If successful, organizers say, it will provide an open-space buffer of ranches and parks between the cities, similar to the Greenland Ranch between Monument and Castle Rock.

The initiative, organized by the Nature Conservancy and Colorado Open Lands, aims to preserve at least 60,000 acres in the next 10 years, which, combined with state land and undeveloped acreage on Fort Carson, could add up to a 200,000-acre developmentfree zone stretching over 35 miles from Lincoln County in the east to Cheyenne Mountain State Park in the west.

Frost Ranch is considered the heart of the project because it sits at the center, along Interstate 25, where development pressure is strongest, said Jonathan Moore. Moore is director of Colorado Open Lands, which brokered the deal. Moore believes the Frost deal may persuade other landowners to get involved.

Conservation easements are not like eminent domain. Landowners must sell willingly, and the price is set by the market.

“That’s why getting a respected, long-standing local rancher like Jay Frost to decide we’re OK is pivotal,” Moore said. “Then the neighbors are a little more receptive to us.”

DOUGLAS COUNTY MODEL

A similar deal in Douglas County preserved 31,000 acres of ranch land north of Colorado Springs. The buttes north of Palmer Divide, known as Greenland Ranch, are part of a 12-mile-long corridor of ranches and parks preserved by Douglas County and Great Outdoors Colorado in the past seven years.
“We want to do the same thing south of Colorado Springs,” Moore said.

The pastures south of the city, with their green alfalfa fields and cholla cactus-studded prairie, may look so timelessly serene that they don’t need protection, but development is rolling near.

The area is scheduled for a coal-fired power plant, a wastewater treatment plant and a large gravel pit, Moore said. Growth at Fort Carson is driving expansion of neighborhoods in Fountain. And the 30,000-acre McCulloch Ranch north of Pueblo was just sold for development.

“The pressure is unbelievable,” said Ann Hanna, whose 6,000-acre Hanna Ranch is next to Jay Frost’s place. (She is Frost’s sister-in-law.)

“I’ll come home and find notes on my door asking me to sell, and the prices are obscenely high,” she said. “Most people tell me just to take the money and pick up and go. They don’t see the real value of this land isn’t in dollars. Once you live on this land, and you see what’s going on around you, it’s a lot better than having millions in the bank.”

Hanna is splitting ownership of her ranch with other family members, but hopes to put her portion in an easement to honor her late husband, Kirk, a conservation-minded rancher who, many say, was the inspiration for the Peak to Prairie plan.

LOOKING FOR CONNECTION

Much of the Peak to Prairie initiative’s acreage is preserved, Moore said. It just needs to be connected.

Just over the eastern fence of Jay Frost’s spread is the 87,000-acre Chico Basin Ranch. To the east of Chico is the 41,000-acre Bohart Ranch. East of that lies the 23,000-acre Smith Ranch. All are managed in an ecologically sustainable way by the state, the Nature Conservancy and working ranchers.

West of I-25, the undeveloped areas on 140,000-acre Fort Carson make another huge link in the chain, and it’s getting bigger. The Department of Defense plans to spend millions in the next few years to buy conservation easements on up to 50,000 acres on surrounding ranches, according to Fort Carson documents.

Fort Carson links to Cheyenne Mountain State Park, which links to Pike National Forest.
That’s a lot of land.

But it won’t connect, Moore said, if about 60,000 acres of ranches along Fountain Creek are not included.

Some owners, like Ann Hanna, are interested in conservation easements. Some, like Bob Norris, who owns 63,000 acres collectively called T-Cross Ranches, are not.

“It sounds like a good idea. I see a lot of merit in it. But people come in with these highfalutin objectives, and you don’t know how it’s going to turn out,” said Norris, 79, who is the largest private landowner in El Paso County. “I’d be afraid they’d try to let picnickers on the land, and we couldn’t run cattle any more.”

COMPETITION INTENSE

Conservation easements don’t necessarily allow public access. The ranchers keep the title to their land and can continue to use it as they always have. But after selling a conservation easement, they can’t build on most of the land, meaning it can never be developed. And because it can’t be developed, property taxes stay low.

Conservation easements can usually be purchased for a fraction of the price of buying land outright.

“They make our dollars go much farther,” said Chris Leding, spokeswoman for Great Outdoors Colorado. “If we had to buy the land outright, we wouldn’t have nearly as many places protected.”

Since GOCO was founded in 1992, it has helped preserve 580,000 acres, an area twice the size of Rocky Mountain National Park.

A GOCO grant to Colorado Open Lands, combined with a grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, bought an easement on the Frost Ranch in June for $800,000. This was less than half the market value, but the Frosts were willing to sell because they will be able to count the amount below the market value (about $1.35 million) as a tax-deductible donation.

Colorado Open Lands needs cash to buy other easements in the Peak to Prairie vision. This summer it asked GOCO for $6.8 million to preserve an estimated additional 60,000 acres in the region.

In November, GOCO will award $66 million to projects — a larger number than most years. Competition is tough, though.

Nineteen other projects around the state are vying for money. In El Paso County, Colorado Springs is asking for $2 million to buy Section 16, a popular hiking destination next to Red Rock Canyon Open Space on the west side of town, and State Parks is asking for $2 million to buy the top of Cheyenne Mountain.

State Parks is also seeking money to study buying land for parks and trails along Fountain Creek, as park of the Peak to Prairie project.

“It’s very competitive. Not everyone will get what they want,” Leding said.

Jay Frost said he got what he wanted. His family owns an additional 4,500 acres they are considering preserving.

“We lost some of our rights, but it allowed us to keep doing what we love, which is ranching,” he said.
He rubbed his jaw and looked out at the fields.

If the whole project comes together, he said, it will be an amenity for ranchers, wildlife, and city dwellers alike.

“It’s really important for me that we can do this,” he said. “My father — this land was always important to him. He is buried on this land, in our family cemetery. His stone reads ‘conservationist,’ so this is fitting.”
CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0223 or dave.philipps@gazette.com

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 16, 2007, 3:48 AM
Well... for starters there is a TON of undeveloped space in Colorado Springs that is ripe for building. Second, look at Banning Lewis Ranch. There is enough land there alone to feed the sprawl machine for several decades... not to mention the entire rest of the county outside of Colorado Springs. I don't think a few ranches being set aside between The Springs & Pueblo is going to cripple the construction industry here. The roads are a mess... but that's what happens in a state, city, and county that is generally anti-tax. You don't get to have your cake & eat it too. Not to mention, had we actually addressed our transportation issues as we were growing, and planned for the future, we wouldn't be in this mess.

wong21fr
Jul 16, 2007, 11:32 PM
It would seem to me that maybe the state needs to hold on on preserving any more "open space" and start diverting some GOCO funds to the state highway project. Colorado already has some of the highest priced gas in the country. If they raise the tax, that will just slow our economy even further. There needs to be some accountability for the proceeds the state already collects for transportation. We already have high tourism tax, where the hell does that money go? I'm not opposed to paying tax, I just want to get something in return for my tax dollars!! It seems in Colorado our taxes keep moving upward, but our services are disappearing. :koko:

Or maybe we shelve the "pro-business" initiatives such as TABOR, that put us in this position in the first place. The tourism tax is small fry compared to our larger taxes, those being income, property, sales, etc in terms of revenue. Hell, GOCO is a tiny bit of funding compared to CDOT and CDOC in terms of budgeting. Maybe if counties such as El Paso realize that they need to increase their taxes in order to actually support their burgeoning populations we wouldn't be in this mess.

It's not programs such as GOCO that is hurting CO. It's TABOR, Amendment 23, the prison splurge, and the individuals such as a certain El Paso County commissioner that are killing the state.

I'd also really like to know how my taxes are moving upward but my services are disappearing because I have not seen it.

Giovoni
Jul 17, 2007, 3:06 PM
I'm speechless after reading this garbage. No words can describe my disgust for the state of colorado and the terrible anti-business politics that have prevailed. Our school system is a joke, our roads are in need of "$60 Billion" in improvements, and our economy is completely dead...... And these fools will spend time and money to preserve land that should be set aside for DEVELOPMENT. Why can't they be smart about it and preserve the land in the MOUNTAINS???? That is where the trees, animals, water supply all need protection. Yet they insist on preserving brown fields on the edges of our cities to stifle growth. I can't wait until my permanent home in NOT in Colorado and I don't have to give these dumb shits another penny! :yuck:




Want help packing? I'd be happy to!

PLANSIT
Jul 17, 2007, 7:27 PM
Let's swap houses!

citycenter
Jul 18, 2007, 12:10 AM
I'd let you help me pack, but I'm afraid you'd send me to FL. - I'm not a big fan of florida. Pretty place, too humid. Although, I gues most any place would be better than my hometown of Pueblo! Sure glad I don't reside in Pueblo County....:slob:

Steel_City_X
Jul 18, 2007, 2:04 AM
Yeah, Pueblo has suffered from multiple generations of 'brain drain', meaning the 'best and brightest' leave to pursue other options. I heard a person desribe the process of getting things approved within the City of Pueblo being tied directly to politics and money.

This whole Pueblo Springs Ranch is interesting. Some of the people involved have ties to Vegas, Las Vegas Gaming Investments to be specific. One of the partners owned/possibly still owns land near DIA where the casino was proposed. They then tried to purchase the Westland Development - 57,000 acres west of Albuquerque. An interesting name shows up with this project down in NM - Philip Aires, son of Frank (of Banning Lewis Ranch infamy). They also are involved in land swaps in AZ involving Bruce Babbit.

Oh, the joys of development in Pueblo.

The public is going to continue subsidizing the same ol' boy's club in Pueblo. After the expansion of HARP, they will have to move the Pueblo Transit Facility and utilize an 80/20 cost sharing with the Federal government to pay for the improvements at the Midtown Shopping Center. This is rather than requiring the property owner to make the improvements prior to locating the facility there.

I look forward to the day that I find somewhere else to live, but the cost of living is so low here that is makes other places difficult to consider.

Did you read that the Greater Chamber of Commerce is supporting the continuation of studies for the Pinon Canyon Expansion?
PEDCO the last few month's. I wonder if they still list Veritas (sp), the Dutch windmill manufacturer as a "job creation", now that they have announced the Windsor Colorado location of their plant. My guess is that they are going after the Frontier Airlines/Lynx maintenance facility. That is since they have an empty 100,000 s.f. hanger ready at the airport.

Just my $.02.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 18, 2007, 3:09 PM
Just incase anybody missed it, I posted a few photos of Sunday's Pridefest in the my city photos section.

Here. (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=134839)

I'll probably attend and photograph Pueblo's pride in August as well...

Giovoni
Jul 18, 2007, 3:52 PM
I'd let you help me pack, but I'm afraid you'd send me to FL. - I'm not a big fan of florida. Pretty place, too humid. Although, I gues most any place would be better than my hometown of Pueblo! Sure glad I don't reside in Pueblo County....:slob:

No no I may dissagree with you and happy to help you leave CO but I wouldn't wish Florida on my worst enemy.. no reason why you can't move somewhere where you can be happy.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 19, 2007, 2:49 AM
This is from The Gazette's business blog.

A Denver real estate company likes us, it really likes us

Why does a Denver-area real estate company invest in Colorado Springs? For DPC Development Co., which on July 5 paid $25.2 million for the downtown Colorado Square building, the company is bullish on the Springs for several reasons, said president Chris King (right). While the Springs' commercial real estate market is growing, several national investors still haven't made purchases here, which leaves the field open for a mid-range investor such as DPC Development, King said. In addition, the company believes the Springs has a diverse economy, what with tech companies, defense contractors and service sector businesses, King said. DPC also believes downtown Colorado Springs is poised to make "a pretty good turnaround," King said. The Colorado Square building was especially attractive. Constructing a similar building in downtown probably would have cost the company twice as much, he said. DPC hopes to keep two subsidiaries of Houston-based El Paso Corp. as tenants; they occupy about 90 percent of the building. If not, the building would be attractive to a wide range of tenants, King said. "Hopefully, they'll stay," he said.

Well gee... isn't that just swell. Way to save money butthead. Build something f*ckers.

Top Of The Park
Jul 19, 2007, 3:09 AM
...earthmovers and signs up for Costco...YAY! The best place to buy foods and goods!

EngiNerd
Jul 19, 2007, 5:07 AM
My buddy is all excited about getting the Costco there too, he lives at Dublin and Powers. I will have to ask him about it.

Top Of The Park
Jul 19, 2007, 8:09 AM
My buddy is all excited about getting the Costco there too, he lives at Dublin and Powers. I will have to ask him about it.

.......of Hampden and Sante Fe on what used to be a dump for the town of Sheridan, also. I used to belong to Sam's Club, but found Costco even better.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 19, 2007, 10:19 AM
In the last three day's I've heard about the new Costco, a new Lowe's planned for Citadel Crossing, and a new Ross planned for the old Albertson's store in Security. Granted, these are all suburban developments... but at least some of the old abandoned shopping centers are getting new anchors.

I know they are building a new JC Penny on Powers by Super Target. I wonder if this means the JC Penny at the Citadel will close?

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 19, 2007, 12:33 PM
The media got a first look at the FAC expansion the other day. John Hazelhurst has already posted his review on The Colorado Springs Business Journal's blog.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Fine Arts Center addition

Along with assorted media types, toured the FAC's new addition yeasterday morning. The architect, David Owen Tryba, was on hand, as were miscellaneous FAC bigwigs-Mike DeMarsche, Buck Blessing, Carol Kleiner,Chris Jenkins, just to name a few.

As some of you may know, I have a long history with the FAC. My grandfather was a founding trustee, and a resident artist there, my mother was a trustee, and I've been a persistent critic/cheerleader/gadfly. I've looked at previous renovation schemes with mixed feelings-mainly disbelief, disdain, and contempt. Every previously floated idea was either ludicrous, or disrepectful to the historic integrity of the building, or clumsy and graceless.

Tryba's addition is none of the above. It's both a subtle, perfectly rendered, and utterly sympathetic addition to John Gaw Meem's great masterpiece and, amazingly, a transcendent piece of architecture in its own right.

The addition is entered from the FAC's lobby, and presents as a continuation of the east/west axial corridor. The new corridor is airy, light-filled, exuberantly classical, and perfectly proportioned.

Listening to Tryba talk about the design process, that's not a surprise. Tryba reads the Meem building as one whose primary influence was not the Pueblo architecture of the American southwest, but the public buildings of ancient Greece. He even pointed out that the FAC, situated on a hill, overlooking the city, shares the formal elements of the acropolis, and noted Meem's understanding of classical proportions, and his use of the Fibonacci series in certain design elements of the FAC.

Entering the new galleries, which taken together double the FAC's exhibition space, you're struck by how nicely they flow, how easy it is to 'read' the building, and how the galleries complement and enhance the art displayed therein.

An unexpected delight: the extraordinary generosity of Kathy Loo, who has not only been one of the primary donors to the new building but has also given the FAC 27 examples of historic western/Colorado art that she and her late husband Dusty collected over the last three decades.

The paintings are on display in one of the new galleries, and they're wonderful. I remember when Dusty acquired many of them-I collected a few small historic pieces as well, but none that approached his in quality and importance.

And speaking of donors: the FAC has raised $28.6 million so far, from 376 donors. Approximately $9 million came from foundations, over $18 million from individuals, and less than 2% of the total from corporations. 33 donors, who had never before given to the FAC, gave over $25K each-an amazing statistic. Compare & contrast with the Denver Art Museum, where well over half of the project's cost came from Denver-area taxpayers.

They've reached their original goal, which has been increased since, and plan to launch a small donor appeal to raise another $2 million or so in the coming weeks. I suspect that they'll have no problem.

Conclusion: a triumph that few of us could have imagined before Mike DeMarsche arrived almost exactly four years ago. Better still, it should cure the local arts community of Denver envy. The new FAC is an infinitely better, more user-friendly, and more beautiful building than the renovated Denver Art Museum, which is, in effect, the forced marriage of two monumental architectural egos (Gio Ponti and Daniel Liebeskind), neither of whom cared much, if at all, about displaying art.

By John Hazlehurst at 9:30 AM 2 comments

PLANSIT
Jul 19, 2007, 4:37 PM
In the last three day's I've heard about the new Costco, a new Lowe's planned for Citadel Crossing, and a new Ross planned for the old Albertson's store in Security. Granted, these are all suburban developments... but at least some of the old abandoned shopping centers are getting new anchors.

I know they are building a new JC Penny on Powers by Super Target. I wonder if this means the JC Penny at the Citadel will close?

I was amazed at how quickly the whole Citadel area has gone to dismay. It was only 15 years ago that the place was at the center of Colorado Springs' retail scene. I guess it's not that surprising given the ridiculous construction of outlying retail corridors. Although I am glad something is going in that space, I think it is only a short-term fix to a long-term problem. The land would be perfect for some kind of semi-walkable development relocating the small bus transfer center over at the mall.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 19, 2007, 7:43 PM
Yeah... Eastern Colorado Springs is a text-book example of the cancerous nature of sprawl.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 21, 2007, 3:40 PM
I noticed this yesterday in the window of the building where Stratton Pointe is supposed to be built.

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c243/Chris80906/Loathing26progress.jpg

Top Of The Park
Jul 21, 2007, 4:15 PM
Yeah... Eastern Colorado Springs is a text-book example of the cancerous nature of sprawl.

The "holier than thou" people would probably put a fence up around all of Northeastern COS to keep us heathens out and First and Main would be their downtown. They don't care how much it sprawls out there. They certainly don't give a rats butt about downtown.

Its funny....look at Castle Rock some time and you witness a smaller COS. No downtown to speak of...and housing developments all over the area like a crazy quilt.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 21, 2007, 5:21 PM
Works for me. Keep them out of downtown. We don't need them coming in putting up crosses everywhere. Better yet, how about they break away from Colorado Springs and form their own city. Quit ruining the good name of ours.

I went on an epic walk yesterday... I hit every block from Cimarron north to Pikes Peak, and from Cascade east to Wahsatch... This city does have a downtown... I'm uploading about 40 of the 120 photos I took right now.

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c243/Chris80906/Loathing33alley4.jpg

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c243/Chris80906/Loathing2nosh.jpg

TheMetaphysicist
Jul 21, 2007, 11:31 PM
nice pics - I like the one taken from the old courthouse
I hope that Stratton Pointe doesn't flop again

TheMetaphysicist
Jul 21, 2007, 11:32 PM
oh, and our downtown does have a good number of cool buildings if you take time to find them

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 22, 2007, 4:37 PM
I'm not sure Stratton Pointe ever flopped... it just didn't happen as quickly as we wanted it to. Hopefully we'll hear some news about the final plans in the next month.

Downtown is in such a weird place right now. On one hand, retail is struggling and it would seem crime is rising. On the other hand, there are several little buildings being renovated around downtown, arts and culture seem to be thriving, and there seems to be a generally positive attitude about the future... I do wonder though if... if maybe downtown has to evolve to survive. Would it be so bad to have a mainstream movie theatere? Would it be so bad to have some chain restaraunts? Would it be so bad to have a target store? Is it realistic to expect small, expensive specialty shops that keep inconvenient hours to thrive in this era? I'm not advocating the suburbanization of downtown... but we can't go back in time either, and the world changes whether we want it to or not.

Friday afternoon when I was hanging out with the KRDO news crew while they were waiting to do their live shot, people were walking buy scoffing... rolling their eye's. "Downtown is dangerous. Yeah right." That's not what the story was about... they assumed. The story was actually about the fact that the exploding bar scene is having a negative effect on retail and the overall atmosphere downtown. I was downtown again last night, and the moment we stepped out of Old Chicago the sky opened up and it started pouring. We sought shelter in a doorway and this very... very very drunk guy walked up. Wobbly, slurred speech, talking about how he was an Indian from Minnesota and then telling all these racist, anti-mexican jokes and creeping closer and closer to my sister. I don't know... downtown could go either way at this point, I think. It could explode into a residential, commercial, and cultural center... or it could be left to the homeless and drunks. I really don't know which is going to happen.

TheMetaphysicist
Jul 22, 2007, 6:57 PM
just like a lot of other downtowns out there Colorado Springs should look forward to both increased development (as long as a few of these projects can squeak through) and increases in homeless.

With the whole retail situation, it looks like the small businesses that make it in the long run are usually in more of the Old Colorado City or Haight-Ashbury locations -I think pretty much everybody would love to see small businesses stay in business, but like you said the bigger chain stores are the ones that are starting to dominate (which is not necessarily a terrible thing). Hopefully if the targets, etc do move in they won't completely level an entire block and have just a big parking lot and the store.

I like what the downtown partnership is doing to stimulate growth for the better

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 23, 2007, 9:46 AM
I like the concept of the downtown partnership... I'm not sure how effective it is... and I'm not sure 90 year old, conservative knick-knack shop owners who want to button up at 4 p.m. and and move events out of downtown because it is inconvenient should be serving on it.

Another thing I found interesting walking around Friday was that there are a lot of little stores and shops outside of the core of downtown that were attracting people, despite being in rundown looking, single-story buildings.

I don't know... if we could get a groundbreaking on Stratton Pointe in the next 6 month, that would be a nice shot in the arm... combined with whatever activity happens around the park, the completion of the Bijou Bridge, and looking forward to the Downtown Development Authority funds becoming accessible in 2008.

I can't help but wonder if LandCo was waiting for the Colorado/Nevada garage to near completion before moving forward with their project?

citycenter
Jul 23, 2007, 2:47 PM
No, the Downtown Partnership is not effective. I was on one of their roundtables for about 6 months or so. We hd monthly meetings to discuss a plan of attack on luring additional employment generators to the core market. After the DDA passed in the election, the group started to fizzle. There were supposed to be a couple trips taken to some key markets we had identified in our reserach to meet with business owners and executives and discuss some relocation packages and incentives to relocate their HQ operations to downtown COS. This never happened. Quite honestly, after being involved in the whole thing, it seems that they simply wanted the DDA passed to ensure they would have SALARY jobs with the organization. There is no accountability for progress, and the woman, Beth, who runs the operation is more qualified to be a dental receptionist and not a downtown booster. :cheers:

bunt_q
Jul 23, 2007, 2:55 PM
Well, there would have to be a source of funding and some bona fide support from the City before anybody could go out and offer legitimate incentives packages. Without that support, what would be the point, really? Without anything to back up their efforts, it could not possibly have amounted to anything more than a few forumers sending emails and meeting with executives...appealing to their good nature and senses of civic duty to move businesses downtown (and yes, that has been tried here)... a lot of good it would do.

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 24, 2007, 9:51 AM
I went to one DP marketing meeting before changing jobs and haven't gone back. I won't go to another marketing meeting, but assuming they don't read SSP and ban me, I'll probably waste some time on their other committee's.

I don't know how much money the DDA is supposed to generate? Could that money be used for an incentives package?

_____________________________________________

Springs courting airline facility
Tax breaks dangled for Frontier hangar
By WAYNE HEILMAN
THE GAZETTE
July 23, 2007 - 10:12PM


Colorado Springs officials are using tax breaks to woo a Frontier Airlines maintenance facility to the local airport, where SkyWest Airlines recently opened a $20 million maintenance hangar for its planes.

Denver-based Frontier is expected to select from among Colorado Springs and six other Front Range airports “in the next few weeks” for a maintenance hangar that could cost up to $40 million and employ 350 within two years, Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas said.

“Colorado Springs absolutely would be interested in hosting the Frontier facility,” said Mark Earle, the city’s aviation director. “If you look at the SkyWest facility, you can see what these types of facilities can do for both a city and an airline.”

Frontier’s facility would replace one it leases month-to-month from Continental Airlines; a long-term lease expired in February.

Frontier also has received bids for the facility from Denver International Airport, Front Range Airport in Watkins, Greeley-Weld County Airport, Loveland-Fort Collins Municipal Airport, Pueblo Memorial Airport and Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, Hodas said.

The carrier has narrowed the bidders to three finalists, but Hodas declined to identify them. Frontier at first considered moving the hangar outside Colorado, but decided to keep the facility in the state because the 250 employees who work there don’t want to move out of state, he said.

“It is an economic equation for us — what is the most costeffective to get what we need out of the facility, including the cost of the real estate, how far we would have to fly the planes to get there and what is best for our employees,” Hodas said.

The airport is putting together an incentive package that includes tax breaks that could be offered to any airline that wants to build a local maintenance facility, Earle said. All previous bids, including those for Frontier and Sky-West, have been developed specifically for individual projects, he said.

The Colorado Springs City Council tentatively agreed in 2004 to eliminate sales tax on aircraft-parts purchases totaling more than $2 million a year for SkyWest’s maintenance facility, said Elena Nuñez, the city’s economic development manager.

Final approval of SkyWest’s tax break is expected within two weeks, Nuñez said. Sky-West’s tax break also includes a reduced rate for purchases from $1 million to $2 million. The same tax break would be available to any airline maintenance facility, she said.

Frontier spends “many times” $2 million each year on parts for its maintenance facility, Hodas said.

A Frontier facility could be built in one of three areas: the west side of the airport near the SkyWest hangar and other maintenance facilities for airlines and private aircraft; on other sites near the airport’s business park; or south of Peterson Air Force Base, Earle said.

Mike Boyd, an Evergreenbased airline consultant, said Colorado Springs would be a good choice for Frontier’s facility because of its “solid work force, great quality of life” and proximity to Denver, Boyd said. “I don’t see any downside for Frontier and a lot of upside” if the carrier selects the Springs.

Boyd said Denver has “taxed this facility out” of the city because it doesn’t give tax breaks on parts. He said Denver “should have the inside track but can just forget those jobs because of its punitive tax system.”

If Frontier opens a maintenance facility here, the airline probably would begin flying commercial flights from here, as well, to get aircraft to the facility, Boyd said.

Frontier’s Hodas said service to Colorado Springs “is not related to the hangar but is one piece of the puzzle that might make Colorado Springs more viable.”

At Frontier’s facility, aircraft would undergo heavy maintenance — comprehensive checks, major repairs and gutting aircraft interiors — for the airline’s entire 60-jet fleet, Hodas said. A new facility would total 100,000 square feet and take 18 months to build, he said.

SkyWest employs about 90 at its 101,000-square-foot hangar at 1697 Aviation Way that provides overnight maintenance for up to 10 regional jets a day. The work includes completing a checklist of several hundred items involving mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems.

The carrier sends aircraft to the Springs for maintenance mostly on flights it operates for Delta, Midwest and United, and on flights without passengers.

SkyWest’s local work force totals 370 people, including 80 customer service representatives at the airport and 200 on flight crews based in the Springs. The carrier’s work force could eventually grow to 500, said Chip Childs, Sky-West’s president, last week.

CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0234 or wayneh@gazette.com

DETAILS

Frontier is expected to select from among Colorado Springs and six other Front Range airports soon for a maintenance hangar.

Denver Dweller
Jul 25, 2007, 12:44 AM
Cambria Suites wants to open its 105-suite structure by next June.
By JUSTIN PARKER
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

The Cambria Suites hotel hopes to add a little flair to Downtown Pueblo.

The new hotel, which will be located across from the Pueblo Convention Center on South Santa Fe Avenue, held its groundbreaking ceremony Monday.

Developers Ashwin and Avik Amin of AAA Hotel Developers are hopeful the hotel will be open for business by next June.

"The framing should be done by late August," said Avik Amin. "By then the people of Pueblo should have a good idea of what the place is going to look like."

The hotel will stand four stories tall and have 105 guest suites, which will feature a kitchen area, Internet access and two flat-screen televisions. The hotel also will sport a casual dining area offering breakfast and dinner, as well as a convenience store inside the building. A state-of-the-art fitness area and an indoor pool are just a few more of the luxuries that will be available for guests.

"The type of hotel that the Cambria Suites represents is ideal for this area," said William Edmundson, president of the Cambria Suites franchise. "The suites are a good fit for any type of guest, business or pleasure. We just try to give guests a nicer option for their lodging needs."

Cambria Suites is a relatively new franchise in the hotel industry. Although 60 franchises have been purchased across the U.S., only one, in Boise, Idaho, is in operation. Four franchises are scheduled to open this year, and Pueblo's is one of many that will open in 2008.

"We are happy to have the opportunity to open a hotel in Pueblo," Edmundson said. "Pueblo's a great market, especially with all of the redevelopment in the Downtown area. It should be a very successful hotel location."

The Amins, who own a Best Western hotel on the North Side, are looking forward to expanding their horizons in hotel ownership.

"It's always important to embrace new opportunities," Avik said. "We're from Pueblo, and we know the town very well. I believe the Cambria Suites will do very well here."

©1996-2007The Pueblo Chieftain Online

Front_Range_Guy
Jul 27, 2007, 9:50 AM
Another good opinion piece by Hazelhurst.

from csbj.com
Parking lots stark reminder of lost history

John
Hazlehurst July 27, 2007
If you want an easy visual lesson about the economic impact of historic preservation, I’d suggest three Saturday afternoon strolls.

Stroll No. 1: Start at Bancroft Park, in historic Old Colorado City. Walk west on the north side of the street to 27th Street, cross Colorado Avenue and walk back on the south side of the street.

Stroll No. 2: Start at the intersection of Pikes Peak Avenue and Cascade Avenue, on the south side of the street. Walk east to Weber Street. Cross Pikes Peak and return to starting point.

Stroll No. 3: Start at The Stagecoach Restaurant in Manitou. Walk west on Manitou Avenue to Ruxton. Cross Manitou and return.

What do you see?

In Manitou and Old Colorado City, you might be in Boulder, Pasadena or Santa Fe. Renovated historic buildings line streets where they have stood for a century or more. The sidewalks are thronged with people enjoying a summer weekend — shopping, buying an ice cream cone, getting a cold one at a friendly neighborhood bar or just walking the dog.

Business is good; life is good.

But Pikes Peak Avenue is another story.

You start at a parking lot, where a plaque informs you that the first stake of the city was placed there in 1871. What was arguably the finest building ever erected in Colorado Springs, the 1912 Burns Opera House, stood there until 1973, when it was torn down.

Forty years later, the site is still a parking lot.

As you continue down Pikes Peak, it doesn’t get much better. A single movie theater, Kimball’s, enlivens a street where four once stood. There are still a handful of fine old buildings on the street — the Exchange National Bank building, the Mining Exchange Building and the Post Office — but many are gone, replaced either by parking lots or by drab, characterless office buildings from the 1960s and 1970s.

And at the western end of the avenue, where once the graceful towers of the historic Antlers Hotel framed a picture-postcard view of Pikes Peak, there now stand a couple of generic medium-rises, blocking the view.

The extraordinary buildings that once lined Pikes Peak fell to the wrecker’s ball in the name of economic development. The businessmen/politicians of the day thought they were making rational economic decisions, maximizing the value of their property by getting rid of useless old buildings.

They were wrong.

Despite tens of millions of dollars in private and public investment in downtown Colorado Springs during the last four decades, downtown is still struggling.

What would Pikes Peak Avenue be — and, by extension, all of downtown — if the historic buildings still stood?

Would the Antlers have become, like the Oxford in Denver, the Strater in Durango and the Boulderado in Boulder, an upscale historic hotel? Would Pikes Peak Avenue be lined with boutiques, bars and restaurants? Would new luxury hotels be under construction to serve our booming downtown?

We’ll never know.

And while it’s easy enough to tear down old buildings — just look up “demolition contractors” in the yellow pages — it’s infinitely harder to preserve them.

Old Colorado City and Manitou were preserved because of the efforts of energetic, committed residents who were simply unwilling to see the historic fabric of their communities torn apart.

But they realized that preservation doesn’t happen by itself.

Buildings get razed because it makes, or appears to make, economic sense to take them down. And buildings get preserved for the same reason.

In 1973, half of the 50-odd Victorian commercial buildings that comprise Old Colorado City were vacant. City bureaucrats, concerned about the deterioration of a once-thriving commercial district, considered acquiring them, tearing them down, and offering incentives to some kind of “manufacturing facility” to relocate there.

It seemed like a good idea at the time — get rid of a bunch of crumbling eyesores, build a shiny new factory and provide blue-collar jobs for all of us westside layabouts.

But Dave Hughes, newly retired from Fort Carson, had other ideas. With the help of a few farsighted city officials, he crafted a plan to revive the entire district.

The city would spend money on infrastructure improvements and low-interest financing would enable property owners to renovate their buildings. Property owners created a novel entity called a “business improvement district,” which would generate needed revenue. Renovation would cost a lot less than leveling the buildings and subsidizing new construction, so it seemed to make sense.

And, as anyone who has visited Old Colorado City can attest, the plan worked. An area that was once moribund, generating no tax revenue and producing no jobs, is now a vibrant commercial district, home to scores of businesses, employing hundreds and delighting thousands of visitors every weekend.

In Manitou, the methods were different but the results were the same. The city might be quirkily individualistic, but residents treasure the town’s historic character.

During the last two decades, three of the city’s major historic structures (Barker House, Cliff House and the Spa) were vacant and deteriorating. But rather than simply condemn them and bring in the wreckers, Manitou officials worked to facilitate renovation and rebirth.

Each building was different, and each one required different strategies. But the goal remained clear: to recreate the city by renewing its past.

Downtown Colorado Springs might have lost the opportunity to recreate its heritage. Much of our built history has simply disappeared. Yet a beautiful, vibrant downtown is well within our reach if city officials, downtown boosters and downtown property owners start using the same playbook.

For starters, worry about downtown’s heart, not its periphery. Don’t put city money/tax breaks/ infrastructure improvements into projects half a mile from the center of downtown, when the center is defined by three enormous vacant parcels and the long-neglected City Auditorium.

Pay attention to architecture, to design and to a living streetscape. Consider the Cascade Avenue side of the new county courthouse — a flat, dreary, featureless expanse of nothing. It could, and should, be used in architectural texts, as an example of anti-urban design.

Work together to create design guidelines that encourage a livable, walkable and delightful downtown — and then pay attention to them. I know, I know-we’ve already got these great guidelines and they’ve done so much good!

And look at Tejon Street from Boulder Street to Colorado Avenue, lined with shops, low-rise buildings, lofts, bars, nightclubs, restaurants and people. Why is it so alive and why is the rest of downtown so sleepy by comparison?

Listen to the experts.

No, I don’t mean a bunch of overpaid “consultants” who’ll whip up a report, fly into town, do the Power Point thing and leave with a fat check. I mean Dave Hughes, former Manitou Mayor Marcy Morrison and former Colorado Springs Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace — people who have been there, done that.

And finally, don’t e-mail me and tell me what a good job you’re doing. I’ll e-mail you — when I see beautiful buildings rise from those desolate vacant lots.

John Hazlehurst can be reached at John.Hazlehurst@csbj.com or 227-5861.

Flip to previous page Flip to next page

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 1, 2007, 1:28 AM
So now businesses that are doing fine are closing. Uh? K.

From The Gazette's Business Blog
Downtown Jamba Juice closing

Downtown Colorado Springs suffered another loss today as Jamba Juice, 15 E. Bijou St., was set to close its doors for good at 7 p.m. The downtown smoothie and juice shop opened 10 years ago as Zuka Juice.

“It’s our last day,” said franchise owner Dean Patzel. “Kind of a sad finish to 10 years.”
Patzel and his wife, Diane, own three other Jamba Juice stores in the Springs. They’re staying open, he said.

The downtown location was not an underperformer, he said. In fact, business has been up, possibly because of the closings in recent months of Michelle’s and Cold Stone Creamery downtown. But the shop was at an age that it needed a face-lift, he said, and corporate wanted a site with higher volume and more exposure.

“I agree with them,” Patzel said. “We’re excited about growth and we’d like to pursue opening a few more stores in town. This is kind of the first step in that whole process.”

Huh? Anyway... maybe we should move city hall to Old Colorado City, bulldoze downtown, and build a suburb. :yes:

The Colorado Springs Business Journal is reporting today that the Embassy Suites Hotel proposed for the east side of America the Beautiful Park was approved by city council last week and will break ground in October. We'll see.

TheMetaphysicist
Aug 2, 2007, 5:47 AM
hey i took some fotos check it out

brush yo teeth (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=135755)

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 3, 2007, 3:58 PM
"While curators at Daniel Libeskind's Frederic C. Hamilton Building, at the Denver Art Museum, will need a decade to figure out how to use the outlandish facilities, those who wish to display art in the Tryba-designed Fine Arts Center wing can do so easily on their initial encounter." - The Westword

An important weekend in the cultural history of Colorado Springs.

csfineartscenter.org (http://csfineartscenter.org)

I hope everyone from Denver to Pueblo will find time in the next few months to pay a visit to the newly expanded fine arts center. Nothing can beat the real thing... in the mean time, here is a sampling from The Colorado Springs Gazette.

rendering from csfinearts.org
http://www.csfineartscenter.org/Building/CourtyardRendering.gif (http://www2.gazette.com/interactives/fac/)

(click on the rendering)

SpringsGuy
Aug 3, 2007, 10:30 PM
Hello All,
I'm a new member but have been following the forum for years. Just wanted to say "hi"

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 5, 2007, 6:36 PM
Hi SpringsGuy. Welcome. Sorry I didn't respond sooner... I haven't been online because I'm stuck in a state of perpetual grouchy this weekend. That's putting it mildly, actually...

Anyway... welcome. I'd love to hear any thoughts or perspectives you have.

glowrock
Aug 6, 2007, 2:56 AM
"While curators at Daniel Libeskind's Frederic C. Hamilton Building, at the Denver Art Museum, will need a decade to figure out how to use the outlandish facilities, those who wish to display art in the Tryba-designed Fine Arts Center wing can do so easily on their initial encounter." - The Westword

An important weekend in the cultural history of Colorado Springs.

csfineartscenter.org (http://csfineartscenter.org)

I hope everyone from Denver to Pueblo will find time in the next few months to pay a visit to the newly expanded fine arts center. Nothing can beat the real thing... in the mean time, here is a sampling from The Colorado Springs Gazette.

rendering from csfinearts.org
http://www.csfineartscenter.org/Building/CourtyardRendering.gif (http://www2.gazette.com/interactives/fac/)

(click on the rendering)

Congrats to the FAC for their completed expansion, but I really don't think the attack on the Denver Art Museum was justified... I've been inside of that building numerous times, and believe me, the curators aren't needing a decade to figure out how to display art in those gallery spaces... ;)


Aaron (Glowrock)

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 6, 2007, 4:56 AM
Yeah... I like the DAM too. I prefer the older building, but I didn't have a problem with the newer wing... The only reason I found it quoteworthy was that it was from The Westword.


I think our downtown may be a lost cause.

From the police blotter...


Incident Date August 4, 2007 Time 3:39:00 AM Division Gold Hill Shift III
Title Arrest Location 25 N. Tejon Street

Summary On 08-04-07, at approximately 0339 hours, officers were dispatched to the area outside of the Vue nightclub because approximately 40 persons were fighting. While responding to the fight call, officers were advised one male involved in the disturbance was armed with a machete and had struck another male in the head with the weapon. The victim was located near the Melting Pot restaurant and transported to Memorial Hospital Central for treatment of his injuries. The victim suffered a severe laceration and skull fracture as a result of the blow from the machete. While officers were processing the scene, witnesses pointed out the vehicle of suspect to officers. Officers stopped the vehicle and contacted the two occupants of the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was later identified by a witness as the person who struck the victim in the head with the machete. The bloody machete was recovered from under the driver's seat of the vehicle. The driver was charged with 1st Degree Assault and booked into the Criminal Justice Center. Gold Hill Commit Team officers assisted with processing the scene and apprehending the suspect.
Adults Arrested Steven Luster
Media Contact Name and Phone Number: Lt. Harris 385-2100

I never thought I'd see the day where I was afraid to go downtown on Saturday Night for fear of getting caught up in one of these brawls.

If the club owners were civic minded at all they'd shut them down... apparently people are too driven by liquor and ego to act like civil human beings.

SpringsGuy
Aug 6, 2007, 4:13 PM
From Sunday's "Gazette"

BY THE NUMBERS

Service calls for the Colorado Springs Police Department at five area bars and clubs from January 2006 to July 2007. For all these bars, service calls were mostly disturbances.

RUM BAY

20 N. Tejon St. 285 calls 24 assaults 3 weapons 1 narcotics 1 stabbing

EDEN NIGHTCLUB

217 E. Pikes Peak Ave. 210 calls 18 assaults 4 narcotics 1 shooting 1 weapons

COWBOYS WESTERN AND COUNTRY

3910 Palmer Park
164 calls
5 assaults
3 shots fired

THIRSTY PARROT

32 S. Tejon St. 113 calls 8 assaults 2 weapons 1 narcotics 1 shooting 1 stabbing

WAGON WHEEL LOUNGE

2308 E. Platte Ave. 102 calls 9 assaults 1 kidnapping 1 narcotics 1 sex crime 1 shots fired COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT

...Almost seems like the whole town is going crazy.

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 7, 2007, 12:40 AM
Yeah... I don't know what is wrong with people.

Going back to the blotter... I surely hope if the police ever find me in a parking lot, they do more than "assume" I'm dead...

Incident Date August 4, 2007 Time 3:52:00 AM Division Professional Standards Shift I
Title Death Location 155 Lake Ave
Summary This morning at 3:52 AM, the Colorado Springs Police Department was dispatched to 155 Lake Ave at The Bank at Broadmoor parking lot for a report of an injured person laying on the ground. Upon arrival of medical and police personnel, the victim of an apparent gunshot wound was discovered in the parking lot. Due to the obvious injuries, he was assumed to be deceased.

Detectives from the CSPD Major Crimes Section were called and responded to the scene, as well as representatives from the El Paso County Coroner’s office. The victim was pronounced deceased by the Coroner at 8:30 AM. The manner and cause of death will be determined after the autopsy is conducted. If determined to be a homicide, this will be the 19th homicide of the year for Colorado Springs.

Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call the CSPD at 444-7000 or Detective Derek Graham at 444-7561. Any media inquiries can be directed to Sergeant Jeff Jensen of the Major Crimes Homicide Unit at 444-7613.

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 7, 2007, 1:36 PM
Sooo... SpringsGuy... crumbling economy, dying downtown, and violent populous aside... what are your thoughts on Colorado Springs? How long have you been here? Are you involved in urban development at all? What are your thoughts about the cities future?

SpringsGuy
Aug 7, 2007, 6:53 PM
Sooo... SpringsGuy... crumbling economy, dying downtown, and violent populous aside... what are your thoughts on Colorado Springs? How long have you been here? Are you involved in urban development at all? What are your thoughts about the cities future?

Hey Front_Range_Guy:

Been here since 2000, I'm a Denver native. When I moved here, I thought this city was really going places. The Plaza of the Rockies had just been topped off, talk about moving the ballpark downtown, a convention center, Southwest Airlines, yadda yadda. Then it seemed like the bottom dropped out when the high-tech bust hit us in the gut. Commercial development downtown dried up, the convention center is dead, no ballpark and SW is in Denver. But houses keep popping up northeast. Who's buying these places? Where do they work? This town bills itself as a tourist destination? Not even close. There's more to do in Niagara Falls! I think we have a lot of potential, but you need more than mountains. You can't grow and mature without an economic foundation or an infrastructure. CS really has no economy other than the service sector and the military. At least we have that. We don't seem to have a local government that can get things done. I love this town but it's frustrating. There's so much more we could be. I look at Tucson, Albuquerque, and Boise and think why aren’t we there?

SpringsGuy
Aug 7, 2007, 7:01 PM
And don't get me wrong, I'm not ALL negative on the Springs. There are some good things happening, the FAC addition being an example. Even ATB park. But to be vibrant and have character we need an inviting downtown where people live, work and play. We need reliable transportation and an adequate infrastructure. IMHO, a city without a core is a city without a soul.

Giovoni
Aug 7, 2007, 7:17 PM
Yeah... I don't know what is wrong with people.

Going back to the blotter... I surely hope if the police ever find me in a parking lot, they do more than "assume" I'm dead...

Incident Date August 4, 2007 Time 3:52:00 AM Division Professional Standards Shift I
Title Death Location 155 Lake Ave
Summary This morning at 3:52 AM, the Colorado Springs Police Department was dispatched to 155 Lake Ave at The Bank at Broadmoor parking lot for a report of an injured person laying on the ground. Upon arrival of medical and police personnel, the victim of an apparent gunshot wound was discovered in the parking lot. Due to the obvious injuries, he was assumed to be deceased.

Detectives from the CSPD Major Crimes Section were called and responded to the scene, as well as representatives from the El Paso County Coroner’s office. The victim was pronounced deceased by the Coroner at 8:30 AM. The manner and cause of death will be determined after the autopsy is conducted. If determined to be a homicide, this will be the 19th homicide of the year for Colorado Springs.

Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call the CSPD at 444-7000 or Detective Derek Graham at 444-7561. Any media inquiries can be directed to Sergeant Jeff Jensen of the Major Crimes Homicide Unit at 444-7613.


If there is a gunshot wound to the head and you can see brain matter.. .or it's clean that the blood isn't still being pumped out of the wound wherever it is, and believe me you can TELL when the heart is still beating.. blood doesn't just seep.. it's pumped - you can most of the time safely assume the person is dead.

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 8, 2007, 5:07 AM
:previous:

Yeah your right. Still, it'd be nice if they'd humor me and check before writing me off...


It sounds like your pretty much on the same page as the rest of us SpringsGuy.

If your a Denver native, why are you still here?

If I had a vastly superior hometown to go home to I would, but unfortunately I'm stuck with this.

citycenter
Aug 8, 2007, 1:45 PM
Been here since 2000, I'm a Denver native. When I moved here, I thought this city was really going places. The Plaza of the Rockies had just been topped off, talk about moving the ballpark downtown, a convention center, Southwest Airlines, yadda yadda. Then it seemed like the bottom dropped out when the high-tech bust hit us in the gut. Commercial development downtown dried up, the convention center is dead, no ballpark and SW is in Denver. But houses keep popping up northeast. Who's buying these places? Where do they work? This town bills itself as a tourist destination? Not even close. There's more to do in Niagara Falls! I think we have a lot of potential, but you need more than mountains. You can't grow and mature without an economic foundation or an infrastructure. CS really has no economy other than the service sector and the military. At least we have that. We don't seem to have a local government that can get things done. I love this town but it's frustrating. There's so much more we could be. I look at Tucson, Albuquerque, and Boise and think why aren’t we there?

SPOT ON!! Why does nobody else get this? It's pretty simple math really....
And for the new homes in the NE part of COS - the people buying those homes (many of them) are inflating our growth, as they have sold homes in other west coast markets and have much disposable income now, and can afford a huge house and 2-3 years of liquidity after tax. There are ZERO jobs to support any of the growth happening in COS. Pueblo can make a better claim for job growth at this point. And the mayor of COS is doing what again to stimulate the economy and provide for the foundation of which you speak?????

navyweaxguy
Aug 8, 2007, 2:01 PM
I would bet that a part of those people that are buying houses in the northern sections of the Springs are working in Littleton and southern Denver.

PLANSIT
Aug 8, 2007, 2:32 PM
^I know this is the case for some of my family and their neighbors. My brother commutes to Lockheed from Gleneagle. ~90 min. round-trip.

Top Of The Park
Aug 8, 2007, 2:46 PM
I would bet that a part of those people that are buying houses in the northern sections of the Springs are working in Littleton and southern Denver.

...I would say there are thousands who commute to Denver Metro. There are so many "volume slowdowns" on the 4 lane stretch of I-25 to Castle Rock it can be a nightmare.

Top Of The Park
Aug 8, 2007, 3:11 PM
....There is no place in Denver Metro where I can have a variety of mountain trails to hike, some 5 minutes away. A two bedroom apartment with two balconies in Denver would be $850, I pay $675 in a tree filled area with a fishing pond and lots of wildlife: bears, foxes, deer, eagles, falcons etc. Quaint Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods and Old Colorado City are a stones throw away. I can catch a bus a block away and go to a movie downtown and drink wine there. There are Indian restaurants, crepes and Chinese to name a few. There two excellent book stores within walking distance. COS has some decent biking trails. Groceries are even slightly cheaper here.


Traffic is generally much lighter unless you go on Academy or I-25. The topography is so beautiful, the thunder echos off the mountains, the weather is somewhat milder than Denver's and we get more rain. I find plenty to like about COS.

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 8, 2007, 4:34 PM
I agree there is plenty to like about Colorado Springs as it is today... but it's very unsettling knowing that the way things are going, a year from now things won't be quite as good, 5 years from now things might be even worse... The place is going in the wrong direction. That's the problem... and the cold hard realities of the situation are becoming hard to ignore, even for those who are willing to hold out virtually to the bitter end, like myself. I think this may be the first time I've ever had true, real doubts about the future of this town...

SpringsGuy
Aug 8, 2007, 4:55 PM
:previous:

Yeah your right. Still, it'd be nice if they'd humor me and check before writing me off...


It sounds like your pretty much on the same page as the rest of us SpringsGuy.

If your a Denver native, why are you still here?

If I had a vastly superior hometown to go home to I would, but unfortunately I'm stuck with this.

I've thought about moving north again but my family and business are here. My mother lives in Lakewood and I have a brother in Northglenn, so I get up there frequently enough. Also, Denver is much different from the place I spent 44 years. Even with all it's faults (challenges:) ) COS has become home. Maybe it's true that you can't go home again. I'd just like to see us reach our full potential.

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 8, 2007, 5:05 PM
Well, of course I'd like to see that happen too. Are you a local business owner?

SpringsGuy
Aug 8, 2007, 5:13 PM
Yes sir. I have an insurance agency south of downtown. My wife is also an agent and a realtor. So our interests are heavily invested in this town. How about you Front_Range_Guy, what's your line?

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 8, 2007, 6:41 PM
I work in television.

navyweaxguy
Aug 8, 2007, 8:34 PM
Man, I had a 32" sony, how did you fit in it???

When I was younger in the early 80's it sure seemed like the Springs(downtown that is) was really starting to turn in a big artsy area. Galleries, artisans and so on. Now I haven't walked through DT COS in probably 7-8 years so I'm not sure it it was still that way. They had the perfect opportunity to copy the way Santa Fe and the other mentioned above are or are headed. There are so many positive things about the city, you guys just have to override the religious crazies.

denveraztec
Aug 8, 2007, 9:26 PM
Being a Denver native and here for 40 years, I have seen many ups and downs with construction, crime, jobs, etc. I am so glad I toughed it out and still call this home. Times will get ugly again at some point, but there have been more great times then bad. The Springs is a beautiful place to live and only it's citizens can make it better. Speaking up and stessing concerns and being vocal really pays off. Point out what is broken and demand it be repair, no matter what it is. Sadly, the squeeky wheel get the grease. Ask your Mayor what he is doing and provide him examples of what Hickenlooper has done, or a succesful conservative Mayor in another city. If he doesn't act, then let him know that you will begin letting every citizen know that he is doing nothing to improve the city and needs to be voted out of your next election. Hold them accountable.

TheMetaphysicist
Aug 9, 2007, 1:50 AM
Being a Denver native and here for 40 years, I have seen many ups and downs with construction, crime, jobs, etc. I am so glad I toughed it out and still call this home. Times will get ugly again at some point, but there have been more great times then bad. The Springs is a beautiful place to live and only it's citizens can make it better. Speaking up and stessing concerns and being vocal really pays off. Point out what is broken and demand it be repair, no matter what it is. Sadly, the squeeky wheel get the grease. Ask your Mayor what he is doing and provide him examples of what Hickenlooper has done, or a succesful conservative Mayor in another city. If he doesn't act, then let him know that you will begin letting every citizen know that he is doing nothing to improve the city and needs to be voted out of your next election. Hold them accountable.

In the words of Cornel West this problem stems from "political nihilism" and "evangelical nihilism"
But majority rules in democracy and when the majority fall into these categories politics get ugly

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 9, 2007, 5:39 AM
Being a Denver native and here for 40 years, I have seen many ups and downs with construction, crime, jobs, etc. I am so glad I toughed it out and still call this home. Times will get ugly again at some point, but there have been more great times then bad. The Springs is a beautiful place to live and only it's citizens can make it better. Speaking up and stessing concerns and being vocal really pays off. Point out what is broken and demand it be repair, no matter what it is. Sadly, the squeeky wheel get the grease. Ask your Mayor what he is doing and provide him examples of what Hickenlooper has done, or a succesful conservative Mayor in another city. If he doesn't act, then let him know that you will begin letting every citizen know that he is doing nothing to improve the city and needs to be voted out of your next election. Hold them accountable.

Right... well I realize the '80s blew, the '90s were great, and now things are going down the shitter again. It happens... I don't believe our current mayor has any interest in what happens in Colorado Springs... I'm fairly certain he'll be term limited (per a newly passed law) at the end of his current term, which just started in November.

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 9, 2007, 1:38 PM
Expanding on my last post... I think for at least the next four years, if anything is going to happen in this town, it's going to have to be spearheaded by the business community. The fact remains that this is a city that isn't necessarily against development, so long as they don't have to pay for it. The Gazette reports this morning that it's going to cost more to clean up contamination at the Embassy Suites site than first expected. The developer won't move forward until it's cleaned up, and the city doesn't know how it's going to pay for it. I highly doubt the citizens are going to be willing to pay the extra money... this has the potential to be yet another project allowed to fade away for a really stupid reason. That's probably exactly what will happen actually. About the only thing you can learn from living in Colorado Springs is that you shouldn't waste your time with big dreams because they will never be realized.

It seem's like for most cities the attitide is "progress at any cost"... but in Colorado Springs it's "progress as long as it doesn't cost us anything."

SpringsGuy
Aug 9, 2007, 3:51 PM
Spot on FRG.

denveraztec
Aug 9, 2007, 7:30 PM
Every place has it's negative nit-wits and barnacles, but then there are concerned folks who are intelligent enough to know what has to occur to entice growth, such as yourself and SpringsGuy. That old cliché, “Change starts with you”, actually has some depth to it. I joined a local district caucus years ago, write letters to my senators and congress men and women constantly and have even called our local news to do investigative reports that the public should know about. All have benefits and I don’t always get the results I intended, but I feel that I have done all that I can do. We have tons of evangelicals in our entire state, but that does not stop me from educating them from what they may have heard from their pastor, especially if it was good old Ted! LOL. You are probably stuck for the next four years, but the records of your politicians should be tracked carefully and constantly and brought up when most necessary. You evidently love something about your city, so nurture it and make it all that you can and you will see others will follow. Keep your dreams, for that is one thing nobody can take from you.

Front_Range_Guy
Aug 19, 2007, 3:40 PM
You're right, of course Denveraztec.

I'm not terribly bullish on downtown right now. The nations economy is dangerously close to going down the toilet, and the local economy already kinda has. I feel like the best thing I can do right now is get myself in a position where I'm living a lifestyle I can be okay with, and get myself financially stable, so that when the economy starts to come back I can get behind downtown again. I just don't see much happening anywhere in this city, much less downtown, in the current economic situation.

I'll fight for specific topics if it becomes necessary, for instance I'd be willing to squat inside the city auditorium if they ever decided to tear it down (not that that's at risk of happening), but as far as generally advocating downtown... what's the point? At this point people and businesses are just struggling to keep their heads above water.

I'm going to store away some money, convert to a green lifestyle, and wait this economy out...