COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Downtown Colorado Springs experienced unprecedented growth in 2019, thanks to a residential building boom, the opening or groundbreaking of four hotels and the coming development of landmark projects to include the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum, Downtown Stadium, Robson Arena and the Vermijo streetscape.
The Vermijo streetscape consists in part, of two key pieces of public infrastructure located near the soon-to-be-completed U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in southwest downtown Colorado Springs. Central to the redevelopment project is a pedestrian bridge that connects America the Beautiful Park and the Pikes Peak Greenway to downtown and a streetscape that aims to transform Vermijo Avenue into a “signature street”.
“This redevelopment marks the first transformative phase in southwest downtown. It is designed to fulfill the vision and master planA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property. framework to convert an underutilized corner of our city center into an extraordinary urban neighborhood,” said Bob Cope, Economic Development Officer for the City of Colorado Springs. “With construction of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and planned private investment, including an outdoor stadium, the area is undergoing a renaissance expected to add hundreds of residences, offices, stores, restaurants and hotel rooms as part of a $2 billion transformation over the next two decades.”
These revitalization efforts are being funded through a combination of public and private investment. The Southwest Downtown Business Improvement District, which was established in 2017 and funded through a portion of self-imposed property tax mill levy within the district, will fund infrastructure improvements above and beyond the standard public infrastructure, such as improved walkways and smart street lighting and landscaping to create a unique look and feel.
Redevelopment of Vermijo Avenue from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum at Sierra Madre Street and heading east towards the Pioneers Museum will create a wide, pedestrian and business-friendly design that will render the street appropriate for both pedestrians and automobiles, while offering the opportunity to host festivals and plaza-type events.
The large-scale plan also includes completion of a modern pedestrian bridge that will connect America the Beautiful Park and Pikes Peak Greenway with downtown Colorado Springs, a goal that has been envisioned in the downtown master plan for decades.
Funding for both projects, which are expected to be complete by the Summer of 2020, will come from multiple sources. These include the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, Regional Tourism Act funding (RTA) granted by the successful City for Champions application, Colorado Springs Utilities and the Southwest Downtown Business Improvement District.
Visit www.ColoradoSprings.gov/SWDowntown for more information about projects, costs and funding in support of redevelopment of southwest downtown Colorado Springs.
Residential and Hotel Boom
Spurring commercial growth downtown has been the announcement, opening and construction of multiple residential housing developments as well as four hotels.
Residential projects are as follows:
- ECO, 171 units, opened 2018
- Casa Mundi, 27 units, opening 2020
- The Mae on Cascade, 178 units, opening 2020
- Apartments above new downtown YMCA, 100 units, opening 2022
- S Wahsatch location by Nor’wood, 154 units, TBD
- Greenway Flats, 65 supportive housing units, opened 2019 (not technically SW Downtown, but close)
- Hilton Garden Inn, opened 2019 (not technically SW Downtown, but notable)
- Marriott SpringHill Suites/Element, under construction
- Hyatt Place, under construction
- Kinship Landing, under construction