Ivywild School is “shovel-ready”

Three business partners with big plans for the vacant Ivywild Elementary School in Southwest Colorado Springs are preparing to sign the papers and pick up their hammers.

The partners include Mike Bristol, owner of Bristol Brewing Co.; Joseph Coleman, owner of Blue Star restaurant; and James Fennell, owner of Fennell Group, an architectural firm.

Bristol will move his brewing operation, now at 1640 S. Tejon St., a couple blocks southeast into the school at 1604 S. Cascade Ave., Coleman will open a bakery and Fennell will move his office from its location on North Tejon.

The three have been planning and negotiating the project for more than a year and will likely close on the property within the next few weeks, Fennell said.

In the meantime, they have been securing building permits and will be ready to put shovels in the ground the minute their pens lift off the papers.

“It was a requirement of the banks that they wanted to see all of the building permits,” Bristol said. “It’s a tough time to do an odd-ball project like this one.”

The $3 million redevelopment project will occupy nearly six acres. The area was recently designated as “blighted” by the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority.

Read more about the vision behind the project in Friday’s Colorado Springs Business Journal.