The CooperTower will have seven floors of hotel rooms, four floors of office condominiums and 12 floors of residential condominiums, including two penthouse levels.

The Cooper Tower at Kiowa Street and Nevada Avenue will soon vault 24 stories into the downtown sky, bringing with it an entirely new concept in residential living: the condominium hotel.
Senior city planner Steve Tuck said that once the Downtown Action Plan is amended to accommodate a structure more than 14 stories in height, he expects the final mixed use development plan to receive approval later this year. Construction could begin as soon as early 2007.
Cooper Holdings LLC, the developer of the high-rise, plans two floors of retail, a spa and common meeting areas, seven floors of hotel rooms, four floors of office condominiums and 12 floors of residential condominiums, including two penthouse levels.
While the still-unbranded hotel will offer facilities for downtown business meetings and special events, it is the building’s residential units that represent a first for real estate brokers, as well as primary and second-home buyers.
Heavenly Hospitality Inc., of Phoenix is partnering with the developer, RDS Development of Colorado Springs, to handle the overall planning and marketing of the residential units.
Larry Dalton, company president, sees the introduction of high-rise condominium living with all the amenities of a hotel as a hot new option for real estate buyers, particularly empty-nester baby boomers, young professionals or “DINKS,” short for “double-income-no-kids.”
“We have watched terrific growth in this concept and believe Colorado Springs has reached the population level that can support a downtown residence, hotel and retail concept,” he said.
The hotel condominium marketing expert described his company’s plans for The Cooper Tower’s upper floors as “upscale,” somewhere between the new exclusively-priced Residences at the Broadmoor and the typical market product.
While he said the units have not been priced, Dalton did indicate that most branded hotel condominium residences reflect a “10, 15 or 20-percent premium” above market selling prices.
Room sizes will vary, ranging in size from 1,300 square feet to as much as 3,000 square feet or more, said architect Doug Comstock of Comstock and Associates.
The high-rise units, starting on the ninth floor, with floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto the city below and the nearby foothills, will be patterned after similar condominium hotel residences in cities like Chicago, Sacramento, San Francisco and Dallas.
Top units, Comstock said, would be offered at a premium, with the potential for a two-story loft configuration in some places.
“I think the partners are actually looking at a couple of those top spaces for themselves,” he said.
While Dalton would not identify the company likely to assume operation of the 500,000-square-foot Colorado Springs facility, he narrowed the list to Marriott and its Ritz Carlton brand, Hilton and Starwood Resorts, parent company to the Westin and W brands.
A spokesman for Hilton Hotels, which owns the Antlers Hilton, said his company has no plans to change its current operation to a condo hotel or to open a new facility in downtown Colorado Springs. Most sources close to the project are betting on a Westin or Marriott brand.
So will it fly?
Comstock has worked on the project since its inception and on similar hotel developments around the country.
“Considering the small amount of downtown product available today, I think the concept will go over very well,” he said. “Look at City Walk. Once the hotel’s brand is officially announced, I think the excitement will escalate even further.”
His view is shared by Peakdream.com’s Tim Sheridan and Wayne Jenning, members of the Re/Max Properties’ team responsible for marketing the nearly-sold-out CityWalk loft/condominiums.
They see room for a development designed to capture today’s well-heeled baby boomer and professional singles or couples.
“CityWalk’s living spaces are generally smaller than those proposed for the new tower, but they were probably less expensive with two bedrooms in the $200,000 range,” Sheridan said. “Based on my experience, slightly larger condos are easiest to sell.”
He also supported Dalton’s target market projections.
“They’re on the right track assuming that baby boomers and DINKs are their buyers,” Sheridan said. “The Colorado Springs market for condominiums hasn’t been as aggressive as San Francisco or New York where loft and condominium buildings are 100 percent sold out as soon as they open, but we are getting there.”
It is the extensive hotel amenities available to new residence owners that will guarantee the project’s success, Sheridan said.
“In an upscale category, the more services you can offer a potential buyer, the better,” he said. “That’s what they want. Whether it’s a fitness center/spa, room service, housekeeping or secure parking, that type of buyer probably wants to lock up and go. And they have the disposable income to afford the lifestyle.”
Like Comstock, Sheridan believes the retail stores, restaurants and services provided in a mixed use development also will draw buyers, but said a downtown grocery store is still needed.
The Cooper Tower’s residential owners will pay monthly dues and belong to a homeowner’s association.
“All exterior maintenance, for example, would be included in monthly dues and split between the condominium owners and the hotel on a pro rata basis,” Dalton said.
Unlike condotels or fractional ownership offered at many resort developments along the Gulf Coast, at mountain resorts like Vail and Aspen or off the East Coast shore, marketing will be aimed at full-time residents, although arrangements can be made through the hotel’s management to lease part-time vacant properties, Dalton said.
“We will likely partner with a local company to manage that part of the business,” he said, adding that special arrangements would need to be made at the time of purchase with the brand hotel.
Becky.Hurley@csbj.com