Colorado Springs

City leaders unveil southwest downtown plans

City leaders unveil southwest downtown plans

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Leaders in Colorado Springs met Monday for their work session meeting where they discussed the future of the southwest downtown area.

The project was first approved by city council in 2001 and is finally coming to life after nearly 16 years later.

The plan includes building an Olympic museum and hall of fame for $75 million. Funding comes from a Regional Tourism Act bond issue and private fundraising. Groundbreaking on the building is expected this spring.

The museum plans also include adding a new 1-thousand-space parking garage at an undetermined cost.

"We're very excited to report that the United States Olympic museum bond closed earlier this month so the funding is in place and utility work has begun," said Kara Skinner , the chief financial officer.

The southwest downtown revitalization plan also includes building a pedestrian bridge from the new museum to America the Beautiful Park. It would cost $10.6 million and be funded through the state regional tourism act, PPRTA and other grants.

The new plan also includes building a streetscape project at Vermijo Avenue and Sierra Madre Street. This project would cost $5.45 million and be funded through the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, state tourism bonds, the city and other grants.

"I'm personally really excited about this possibility because I was involved in 2001 when we envisioned it and we didn't think there'd be an Olympic hall of fame and all of these great opportunities we have today. So, I think this is a great possibility for the community," said Richard Skorman, city council president.

Officials also discussed the city's proposal to swap city land for a parcel owned by CSJ No. 7, Inc. and Urban Enterprises, LLC. That group owns the land where the U.S. Olympic museum is expected to be built.

"The land swap is the issue of the day and we're going to address that tomorrow at council and if that goes through, that's a piece of the puzzle that will get resolved, we'll see how it goes from there," Skorman said.

The proposed land exchange would support trail connection, water quality and environmental liability. The swap would be done at no cost to the city. This item will be presented to City Council Tuesday as a separate item.

CSJ No. 7, Inc. and Urban Enterprises, LLC would assume obligation for environmental remediation with the city owned property.

City leaders also mentioned the Colorado Sports and event center, saying it is only feasible with some public support.A study completed suggests that is typical among these types of projects and that all economic benefits do not flow directly back to sports venues.

The WWII Aviation Museum concept originally emerged as a possible replacement for the sports center but that legislation died on April 6.


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