Academy Boulevard Revitalization

Updates

January 2018

This month a delegation from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services Program brought together eight people from all around the country to do the following:

  • Make the case for investment, both public and private, for projects that increase community connections (physical, social, economic) and are also market sensitive. Provide financing and organization strategies for these projects.
  • Apply the principals of building healthy places and experiential solutions to identify and prioritize projects that are both responsive to community needs and in alignment with the strategic direction of the City and region.
  • Recommend realistic and resident-driven strategies to activate vacant spaces (buildings, parking lots, land) and underutilized public places that encourage community development.
  • Prioritize ideas from existing plans and seek opportunities to implements those that have the potential to impact both community and economic health in the area. - i.e. economic opportunity zone incentives, community hub, street design.

The delegation presented a preview of their week-long work in Colorado Springs at Silver Key Senior Services on Friday, January 12, 2018.  Sometime in Spring 2018, the delegation will provide a full report of their findings to their sponsors, Colorado Health Foundation and El Paso County Public Health. 

Academy Great Streets Progress Report

Adoption Process Completed

In August 2011, this Plan was adopted as a land use master plan element of the City's Comprehensive Plan. For continued information on this project, as it moves through the implementation process, please continue to look for updates on the website and/or contact Carl Schueler, City Project manager at 719-385-5391, cschueler@springov.com.

Recent Activities and Next Steps

City staff and partners continue to work on the implementation of the vision and priorities of this Plan.  First phase projects are being incorporated into proposed funding plans.  Over $30 million has been designated for this corridor in the fiscally constrained Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) regional Long Range Transportation Plan which was adopted in early 2012.  An additional $20 million in capital projects within the corridor are also included in a list of City projects that are part of the reauthorization of the capital portion of the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) sales tax.  

To encourage this private development and also to recommend ways to best integrate projects with the Plan's long-term vision, staff continues to work with developers and property owners on individual projects in the corridor.  Within the past two years, several projects have moved forward through the planning and/or construction phases.  These include the late 2011 opening of the Lowe's store at Citadel Crossing, two WalMart community markets, and new Sonic restaurant and a Taco Bell near Hancock Expressway and Academy, along with a variety of building and facade improvements. Lessons learned and insights from the Academy Boulevard process are being applied to a wider analysis of infill and core area redevelopment issues throughout the City.

Academy Boulevard/ Hancock Expressway PEL 

Funding has been set aside for a major collaborative redesign process for the intersection at Hancock Expressway and Academy.  A consultant should be on board to undertake this Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study by early 2014.  The expectations for this study include an agreed-upon design for a modern new intersection, a determination as to whether the overhead electric transmission lines can be buried, and plans sufficient to allow a future design-build process when funds are secured for this project.  Immediately impacted property owners will be substantially involved.

Measurement and Progress Reports

A 2012 comprehensive measurement and progress report was provided to City Council in June 2013. A copy of this report can be viewed here.