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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

Business
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.

FLOOR SPACE

- 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.
 

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I doubt this is going to happen in the near future.

Colorado Springs comes up with these plans all the time and it never happens.

The Wells Fargo building is the last building above 10 stories to be built I believe and that was in 1991!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
We shall see. You're right, Colorado Springs has dissapointed in the past... I think this time will be different, if the econemy holds up.

I'm not particularly confident about this project, but their are a couple of others coming down the pike that are just as big, and I think have a pretty good chance of actually coming to fruition.

I feel fairly confident in saying that the central part of Colorado Springs is undergoing something of a cultural revolution... one that is going to be more condusive to these types of projects in the downtown area in the coming decades. That doesn't mean the city as a whole is going to become any less conservative, nor does it mean the city is going to stop sprawling (though city council has denied a few sprawling subdivisions for various reasons recently), but I do think Colorado Springs has finally reached a point where it is ready for it's downtown to blossom... and I think it will happen in the next decade. Don't hold your breath for anything over 30-stories though.

BTW... The 13-Story South Tower at The Plaza of the Rockies was completed in 2001.
 

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I dont see how they can do 24 stories with the aspect that Colorado Springs is already very overbuilt on rooms. I mean there arent any corperate headquarters in Colorado Springs and tourists already have tons of options of where to stay.

On a sidenote of the downtown area.

Im in my early 20s so I dont think Colorado Springs will be a great 20 something city ever.

However, Downtown Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs in general is very alluring to people of a baby boomer demographic. The weather is nearly perfect and its got the close proximity to the ski resorts add to that the economy has been improving quite substancially.

Its quite amazing to see the amount of families and retirees you see downtown, especially considering a decade ago it was Michelle's, Lorig's and the peak theatre amongst a few other small places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't know that it's a fact that Colorado Springs is overbuilt on rooms... I do know that if their wasn't a significant potential for profit, these companies would not have gone as far as they have in planning new projects. If the demand wasn't there, these companies wouldn't be planning projects... and I'm sure they've done their homework.

What Colorado Springs is or isn't and can or can't be in the future, only time will tell. I'm 22, and have no problem with living here. Granted, I was born here and my family is here. I know it's lacking in many area's culturally, and the powers that be in this city have embarrased me more than once... but I do see potential... and I think as long as there are people who recognize that potential and are willing to work to make changes, eventually Colorado Springs will be a more progressive city.

When I talk about potential for Colorado Springs, I'm talking specifically about downtown and the west side. The rest of the city is pretty much a lost cause.

Regardless, history will dictate what Colorado Springs is capable of becoming... and we'll have to wait to find out.

The weather is nearly perfect and its got the close proximity to the ski resorts add to that the economy has been improving quite substancially.
Colorado Springs econemy has been absolutely booming since the early-90's, save for the nationwide economic downturn that began in 2000 and was made worse by 9/11... and honestly Colorado Springs weathered that downturn much better than many other cities across the country did. Colorado as a whole fared fairly well, actually.
 

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I cannot discuss the market for this project, but I can wish Colorado Springs best of luck in getting it without any bumps. Putting a 14-story limit is certainly something I do not understand and I hope that the city council changes/amends this rule. What I do know, and this holds true for other growing cities (i.e. Raleigh), is the amount of pundits, who feel that the market may not be there, or that there is saturation, etc. Colorado Springs deserves a new high-rise and I hope you guys get it :eek:kay: Let the market decide for its success, not the pundits. I see no reason why this hotel/condo proposal cannot replicate the success we see in other cities across the country. With views as beautiful as Colorado Springs offers, who wouldn't like to live way above ground level?
 
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