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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2006, 7:19 PM
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Colorado Front Range Development Thread

Given the current economic situation, I think The Colorado Springs Development Thread has outlived it's usefulness. Pueblo threads alone rarely get much traffic... so in the spirit of expirementation on generating more discussion on the cities south of the Palmer Divide, I created this thread where we can discuss all things Colorado Springs & Pueblo, from new developments to economic,political, social, cultural, and environmental issues.

Just a crazy idea on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2006, 7:23 PM
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Coloraod Springs developments? You mean, like, evangelical preachers and their free time activities? That's the only noteworthy development I know of south of the Palmer Divide...
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Old Posted Nov 4, 2006, 7:43 PM
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Discussions buntie... discussions.

Coloraod? Hitting the sauce a little early?
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Old Posted Nov 4, 2006, 8:02 PM
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Business

November 03, 2006
2 green fueling stations coming

Federal grants push cleaner-burning autos

By DEBBIE KELLEY THE GAZETTE

Two alternative fueling stations will open in Colorado Springs within the next three years, partially funded by grants the U.S. Department of Energy announced last week.

“It’s a big deal. There are a lot of cars now capable of handling E85 and biodiesel,” said Teri Ulrich, coordinator of Clean Cities Colorado Springs, one of 80 volunteer coalitions that form an Energy Department initiative to promote cleaner-burning fuels.

Sixteen projects across the nation will receive $8.6 million in grants. Colorado’s cut of $350,000 will help pay for four E85 and biodiesel refueling stations — two in Colorado Springs, one in Arvada
and one in Evergreen.

Each station will receive half of the estimated project cost, said Ed Lewis, senior deputy director of the Colorado Governor’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation.

“The grant will enable people with flexible-fuel vehicles to better find fueling places and become more fa- miliar with alternative fuels,” Lewis said.

The Energy Department’s goal, Ulrich said, is to have a nationwide network of refueling stations so vehicles can drive from coast to coast on tankfuls of alternative fuels.

About 6 million flexible-fuel vehicles are in the United States that can run on E85, about 300,000 in Colorado and 30,000 in Colorado Springs, according to the Governor’s Office. The market for biodiesel is more extensive. Most diesel vehicle engines can use biodiesel without major modifications.

Colorado Springs has one E85 pump at the Acorn Petroleum-owned Conoco station at South Eighth and Cimarron streets. Acorn, a Colorado Springs-based fuel distributor, also owns the city’s only public biodiesel station at 529 S. Sahwatch St.

Acorn Petroleum President Harlan Ochs said E85 sales totaled 34,350 gallons in the past year, an 84 percent increase over the previous year but still a drop in the bucket compared with gasoline sales.

“That might be one third of a month’s volume for a reasonably good gas station,” Ochs said.

Sales of biodiesel at the local fueling station and one Acorn owns in Pueblo are about 100,000 gallons annually, Ochs said.

Two other local businessmen, David Donner and Franz Hankins, are separately committing private money and searching for locations to establish the two new E85 and biodiesel stations resulting from the Energy Department grant.

Donner, three-time overall champion of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, said his investment and consulting company, Osprey Inc., is looking at the financial feasibility of opening a station that would sell E85, a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline, and biodiesel, oil derived from chemically processing animal fats and vegetable products. The refined oil is blended with petroleum-based diesel and additives to make an alternative fuel.

Donner said he would like to combine his station with a natural-foods convenience store.

“It’s going out on a limb — that kind of business is tough — but it wouldn’t just be a pit stop. We’d make it worthwhile for people to stop,” Donner said.

His automotive passion from racing professionally coupled with his desire to “not trash the environment” led to Donner’s interest in such a startup business.

“It’s about doing the right thing,” he said. “My objective is to promote alternative fuels, whether running an alternative-fuels car up Pikes Peak or just getting the word out.”

Hankins, owner of LHE Energy Colorado, plans to open an unstaffed fueling station at a central location with three pumps each of E85 and biodiesel. He also is interested in offering a hydrogen hookup.

“There’s definitely high interest in alternative fuels,” he said.

Hankins is building a local biodiesel manufacturing and distribution plant at 3725 Interpark Drive. The plant is 90 percent completed, he said, and will open in the first quarter of 2007. It will produce about 8,000 gallons a day in a 24/7 operation and have about 15 employees.

To further increase opportunities for filling up, the Governor’s E85 Coalition is encouraging gas station owners to consider converting a pump to E85 or biodiesel. Lewis said owners can receive up to $15,000 from the coalition for a conversion.

Applications are available on the Web site, www.state.co.us/oemc/.

CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0235 or debbie.kelley@gazette.
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2006, 8:55 PM
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I think I may have an idea on how to get some discussion going. Check back tomorrow.

In the mean time, I've spent the last two weekends trying to come up with an excuse to go to Denver... "I want to take some pictures" seems like as good of an excuse as any, but I don't want to get the same old shots. Any suggestions from Denverites on photos I should get? Angles we don't usually see?
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 4:54 AM
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Positive spin? It's not ALL bad news.

All of us here are acutely aware of Colorado Springs' shortcomings, so I won't waste time rehashing them for the umpteenth time.

Barring the passage of Issues 200 and 201, which I don't believe will happen, I think there is reason to have hope for Colorado Springs, and I think the last five years prove it.

The previous decades... the 60's, 70's, 80's, and early 90's saw downtown abandoned with many buildings torn down to make way for parking. A trend that has slowed, if not started to reverse itself in the last five years.

Examples:

Homewood Point

What was once a large, cracked, weed filled surface lot is now home to the residents of Homewood Point. A residential development that went up on the eastern edge of downtown with almost zero fanfare this past summer.





You can see Homewood Point on the left side in the next two images. It may not be spectacular, but it looks a hell of a lot better than that surface lot did.





Lowell

The Lowell Urban Renewal Area has brought back to life what was once a blighted, largely abandoned neighborhood in the southeast part of downtown.









Citywalk

Once a run down, 11-Story senior citizens complex, this now 12-Story loft building is almost, if not completely sold out.





Giddings Lofts

One building converted, and a new building under construction... more residential space downtown.





It was announced this week ground floor retail in Giddings II will include Couture and a dental office. Giddings developer also plans to build another 4-story residential building on Bijou Street, replacing a single-story building. A deal has been reached for The Book Broker to occupy a portion of the first floor of that building.

The point? Things are happening downtown and people no longer scoff at the idea of moving into downtown, clearly the opposite is true. Wild Wings N' Things just moved in next door to Pikes Perk. Restaraunt chains have avoided downtown for the most part in the past. Perhaps a sign they are noticing the slow but steady influx of new residents?



Portions of The Mining Exchange Building and The Independence Building are also expected to be modified to include residential space, as well as updated office space.



Five years ago we didn't have a free downtown shuttle. I'm not sure we had FREX either.



Under different political conditions, Downtown Colorado Springs could be so much more than what it is... but considering how little has happened downtown in the previous 3 or 4 decades, it's amazing how much has happened in just the last 5 to 8 years. Imagine what could be in another 5, maybe 10 years.

A new 7-level parking garage WITH ground floor retail is under construction at Colorado and Nevada. Developers have hinted that if the city provided additional downtown parking, they may be more inclined to build downtown.



A city notice is up in the windows of this building. It is slated to be replaced with a 4-story office building.



The city auditorium block is still slated for re-development. The housing market is soft now, and I would not be surprised to see a delay in the development of the block. Still, I'm confident the two to three 20-25 story buildings that are being planned for this block will eventually happen.



Perhaps Cooper Tower will break ground in the next 5 years?



A bit east of downtown, Memorial Hospital is continuing work on it's expansion.



Anyway... I still plan to get the hell out of here this fall. Let's face it, Denver rocks, and it's where I want to be. I just thought it might be nice to stop for a moment and look at some of the good that is happening in downtown Colorado Springs.

Later tonight I will have a new photo thread in the photography section. It will include some of the pictures seen here as well as a few others.
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Last edited by Front_Range_Guy; Nov 5, 2006 at 5:24 AM.
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 7:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by front_range_guy
Perhaps Cooper Tower will break ground in the next 5 years?


That's a helluva discouraging time frame...not a bad building though.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 7:47 AM
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Yeah... we're kind of in a foreclosure frenzy right now. Just like a lot of other places, the housing bubble seems to have burst... so I figure any ground breaking is bound to be delayed.

I'm also trying to frame this thread in terms of how much has been accomplished in the last 5-years, as compared to the very little that was accomplished in the 5-DECADES prior to that, and how much more could potentially be accomplished in another 5-years.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 4:33 PM
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I don't know there Front Range Guy your "urban" housing market seems a little stronger than the Suburban market, so that being the case maybe in a few short 1-2 years the Cooper Tower would rise! Give it a little time keep inquiring on it's progress and I bet you 07' you will dig up some good news on this tower. Am I being optimistic? Sure, but the Springs has potential IMO and I believe is taking notes from Denver. The Springs Will continue to grow no matter what, due to the HUGE Military Base, but it would be nice if downtown became something "more" substancial and was'nt identified as a "Military Town/City" and more of it's own Identity. And I honestly beleive that will happen for Colorado Springs. What I would really like to see happen is for the population to gain about another 300K and become about the size of SLC UT "Valley" and gain a Pro Sports Team or Two! That way Denver wont be the lone ranger of sports in this State any longer. And maybe we could get a in State rivalry going on!

Anyways I am sure things will start to happen down there, especially from the small improvements you had mentioned like free shuttles things like that add to foot traffic in the downtown. Which in turn adds vibrancy which in turn adds more interest in making downtown more "livable" I think in Ten years you will not even recognize Colorado Springs IMO...
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 5:56 PM
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Vacancies are actually down in Colorado Springs apartments, probably a mix of new soldiers and people who's homes were foreclosed on forced to move into apartments.

I won't speculate too much on the future of Downtown Colorado Springs... I will only say that if these small residential projects keep popping up, and if a few larger ones like Cooper Tower actually come to fruition, I see no reason to think the area won't continue to become denser and more alive with economic and civic activity.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 6:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by front_range_guy
Given the current economic situation, I think The Colorado Springs Development Thread has outlived it's usefulness. Pueblo threads alone rarely get much traffic... so in the spirit of expirementation on generating more discussion on the cities south of the Palmer Divide, I created this thread where we can discuss all things Colorado Springs & Pueblo, from new developments to economic,political, social, cultural, and environmental issues.

Just a crazy idea on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
What did you mean by, "Given the current economic situation"? I had assumed that the area was experiencing the same growth as Denver. Especially Colorado Springs.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 6:14 PM
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Things are not so rosy in Colorado Springs right now. Ever since the tech burst, the housing market has really driven Colorado Springs econemy (aside from the military) and in the last 2 months that bubble has burst as well. As a result, building has slowed, foreclosures have gone up, and I think there's a generally lack of confidence in the local econemy right now. In addition, we've lost several businesses and business prospects to cities that are offering better incentives. Colorado Springs government still refuses to offer substancial economic incentives on some principle, and it's starting to hurt. They're going to have to put up or shut up eventually.

That said, the housing market is correcting itself. It was out of control before. Things should start to look up again in 2007.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 6:31 PM
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Front range guy,

It sounds like you definately need a change of local government. After all, it really doesn't get much better than Colorado Springs for locale. Just a stone's throw west is some of the most spectacualr scenery in the world. Your officials really need to pull their heads out. I know that along the Wasatch there are occasional winers who scream at officials for giving business's incentives to locate to our area. But THAT IS THE Name of the game now. This area is in the middle of a phenonimal boom. Yet, the officials offer great incentives to all the new companies. Just saying,"Oh this is a pretty place and we have great skiing is not enough." Time and time again the companies would just take their expansion somewhere else. Anyway, I realize that I'm just preaching to the choir. Give whoever it is a good kick in the rear for me.

Delts
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 6:38 PM
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LOL... I agree completely delts145. Colorado Springs always has to learn these things the hard way for some reason.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 6:49 PM
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I know our northern metro of Ogden,(Weber Valley) had struggled for many years. The central and southern metro's had been moving at full throddle since 1990. However, Ogden just kept mopeing along. As of lately they are on fire. Alot of it had to do with leadership in the mayor's office. Of course, there are alway's many factors in getting things to come together. But it is amazing how much one dynamic mayor can do.

Last edited by delts145; Nov 5, 2006 at 6:55 PM.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 6:51 PM
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 7:01 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that. I can tell you need to be in a more vibrant place like Denver. I'm glad Denver keeps a good pace of growth and development. I don't think any other metro has been better for the Wasatch than Denver. We are always looking to see what Denver is doing and what we can do to keep up or try to at least catch-up. If we can just get an NFL team here, and a Sak's. The best of luck to you,

Delts
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 8:12 PM
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LOL. One of my best friends lives in West Jordan. He doesn't like it there because it's too conservative LMFAO. I'm like... you do realize you moved there from Colorado Springs, right? It CAN'T be any worse. Granted, West Jordan is not SLC... but still.

I can't wait to move to Denver!!!

This 1952 photo from Colorado and Tejon in Colorado Springs seems almost eerie to me. I think because it's such a good quality, color image... which is rare from that time period. The building in the right foreground looks exactly the same, the rest of the area is different though. I found the photo posted on Urban Planet.

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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 10:38 PM
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West Jordan?!?!?!

Well that's interesting. I mean, if he is marriad and has at least 4 to 6 kids, West Jordan is okay. Other than the large LDS temple there,which is very attractive, there's really nothing distinguishing. It's really just a very large bedroom community of downtown Salt Lake. Kind of something like Littleton in Denver. I live part-time in a beautiful town called Alpine. The surrounding mountains are spectacular, and it is close to everything, but it is a whole different world from L.A., which is where I also live. Here along the Wasatch I would rather live in downtown Salt Lake or Park City. Park City, is like Santa Barbara, only in the mountains, and its very close to downtown and the international airport. I love skiing and the outdoors, so Park City is a natural. Park City is a very upscale, liberal California kind of place as far as politics. Alpine on the other hand, is VERY Ward and June Cleaver with a Beverly Hills twist kind of place. I'm really not too fussy about my politicians, as long as they have a smart sense of the principles of quality growth.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2006, 2:31 PM
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Downtown COS isn't anywhere near as bad as it used to be, even 5 years ago... That being said, a LOT of work needs to be done.

Good to see something finally happening there, though. While COS has horrendous (IMO) politics, a terrible reputation, etc., it has a LOT of potential, albeit with the foregone conclusion that incessant sprawl can, will, and is already all along the north and east sides of the city.

Aaron (Glowrock)
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