May 18, 2006
A tall order for Springs skyline
24-story project would have 250 hotel rooms, 100 condos
By RICH LADEN THE GAZETTE
A 250-room upscale hotel, 100 condominiums, stores, restaurants and offices would be part of an ambitious 24-story complex being proposed for the heart of downtown.
RDS Development of Colorado Springs and Arizona-based Heavenly Hospitality plan the $100 million to $140 million, 500,000-squarefoot project on the southeast corner of Nevada Avenue and Kiowa Street, on land that’s part of the City Auditorium block.
“I do believe it’s the right time,” said RDS owner Ray O’Sullivan, who on Thursday firmed up details of a project he first discussed last year. “Downtown needs an upscale luxury type hotel, and the mixed-use concept
has really taken off across the country.”
At 24 stories, the as-yet unnamed building would become the city’s tallest, although RDS vice president Steve Boyette cautioned its height could change. The 15-story Wells Fargo Tower is currently the Springs’ tallest.
The project’s success, however, could hinge on the inclusion of a four-star hotel. Not only would the hotel serve downtown, but its concierge services, spa, fitness center, pool and other amenities would be available to condominium owners and be counted on to attract condo buyers.
“We feel it’s (downtown) ready, finally, for a four-star hotel with the amenity package it can offer,” Boyette said.
Colorado Springs architect Doug Comstock of Comstock + Associates, who’s designing the project, said combinations of luxury hotels and condominiums have gained popularity in downtowns across the country.
There’s a “synergy and symbiotic relationship between having people live there and then (having) the concierge services, room service and valet parking, and you can get your laundry done,” Comstock said.
Other project details include:
- The hotel would take up seven stories. At 250 rooms, it would be slightly smaller than the 292-room Antlers Hilton downtown.
- The building would have 11 floors of residential condominiums, the sale prices of which haven’t been determined; three floors of office condominiums; two floors of retail space; one level set aside for conference, office and administration space, a pool and swimming deck; and four levels of underground parking.
- The building’s color and materials would take into account the historic nature of the next-door City Auditorium and City Hall across the street, Comstock said.
- Project developers hope to begin construction in a year and no later than July 1, 2007, Boyette said. Completion would take 18 to 24 months.
- The site is owned by Cooper Holdings, which is composed of O’Sullivan, Springs restaurateur Sam Guadagnoli and local businessmen Alan Brown and Rodney Preisser.
City zoning rules allow downtown highrises, although a building’s permitted height is tied to its configuration and the size of the property where it’s constructed, said senior city planner Steve Tuck.
While a 24-story building could be allowed, the City Council first must amend the Downtown Action Plan of the early 1990s, which recommended no building be taller than 14 stories, Tuck said.
O’Sullivan said his project will mesh with another high-rise, residential, retail and office complex being planned immediately south on the same block by Nor’wood Development Group of Colorado Springs.
RDS expects to submit initial plans today to city officials and follow up with a more detailed document next week.
- The hotel would take up seven of the 24 stories. With 250 rooms, it would be a little smaller than the 292-room Antlers Hilton downtown.
- The building would have 11 floors of residential condominiums; three floors of office condominiums; two floors of retail space; one level for conferences, offices and administration spaces, a pool and swimming deck; and four levels of underground parking.