Press Release (City of Colorado Springs)
Together, the City of Colorado Springs and Nor’wood Development Group presented a shared vision for the redevelopment of the southwest area of downtown Colorado Springs and provided a project update to City Council at its work session today.
“For more than two decades, the southwest area of downtown has been included in planning efforts as an area ready for revitalization, but has lacked the catalytic spark needed to begin. Now, with construction beginning on the United States Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame, the vision and master plan framework for southwest downtown transforms an underutilized corner of the city center into an extraordinary new urban neighborhood; a place that will offer locals and visitors a vibrant mix of uses while building a bridge, figuratively and literally, between Colorado Springs and its multifaceted heritage,” said Jariah Walker, executive director of the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority.
Specifically, the multi-phased vision strives to achieve five major goals:
• Extend the energy and mission of the US Olympic Museum in Colorado Springs
• Create a new urban neighborhood focused on health, wellness and the outdoors
• Focus on unique, vibrant, memorable and functional public spaces
• Reconnect America the Beautiful Park to the downtown core
• Provide an economically-stimulating environment where significant downtown investment can rapidly occur
Because municipal and community leadership secured funds from the state’s Regional Tourism Act, the museum will become a one-of-a-kind community attraction and an iconic centerpiece, spurring more than five million square feet of new urban development over the next twenty years into the heart of the city; including new shops, restaurants, businesses, residences and hotel rooms.
“We are now beginning to see the benefits of the state’s investment in the Olympic Museum and associated infrastructure,” said Jeff Greene, Chief of Staff for the City of Colorado Springs. “We are very interested in seeing this vision for transformation come to life around the museum.”
The vision strives for seamless connectivity between the Southwest Downtown Urban Renewal District and a re-emerging downtown that is being energized by dramatic regional growth. It relies on improvements being made in the public realm to celebrate the unique natural beauty of Colorado Springs and takes the ethos of the Olympic Movement and lets it reach out from the museum to an entire mixed-use district inspired by sport, the outdoors, and healthy living.
“We believe this master plan effort for the southwest area of downtown will profoundly impact our region—fiscally and socially, through increased community pride in this transformative vision,” said Dirk Draper, Chief Operating Officer for the Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corporation.
“Thriving cities and downtowns make strategic investments in their future,” said Chris Jenkins, President of Nor’wood Development Group. “The revitalization of southwest downtown represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in the future of Colorado Springs by transforming this area into a walkable and connected urban neighborhood, elevating the Pikes Peak Center, America the Beautiful Park and the new US Olympic Museum.”
“Redevelopment of southwest downtown will become one of many economic drivers for Colorado Springs while fulfilling the community’s long time vision for downtown. Benefits will include the initial investment and job creation associated directly with the project, but will pay economic dividends for future generations,” said Bob Cope, Economic Development Manager for the City of Colorado Springs.
Over the upcoming months, the City of Colorado Springs and Nor’wood, operating as the Master Developer of the southwest area of downtown, will continue to work on area infrastructure improvements including a pedestrian bridge, streetscapes, a parking structure, drainage and utility infrastructure with the goal of completing these improvements prior to the opening of the museum in 2019.
Updates, timelines and additional details will be provided as the effort to revitalize the southwest area of downtown continues to move forward.