The only location options that the city is considering to keep the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs are downtown, and proposals from developers not included in the city’s confidential request for information aren’t being considered.
Colorado Springs developer Jannie Richardson said that she would have submitted a proposal, but was told by the city earlier this week that the deadline had expired. The city’s economic development division confirmed that no additional proposals are being accepted.
The Business Journal was told that the deadline for the developers to submit a proposal for a “downtown headquarters building” to the city was Sept. 21.
Richardson’s company, Sunshine Development Co., was not one of the four developers that received the RFI from the city. Sunshine is developing a $175 million, 14-story, 632,000-square-foot commercial center near Union Station in Denver and owns Pine Creek Village and the 153-acre Colorado Crossing mixed-use development in Colorado Springs.
“We can’t lose them,” Richardson said. “The USOC is so important to Colorado Springs. We have to find a way to keep them here.”
Darryl Seibel, the USOC spokesman, said his organization did not express any preference for a particular area of the city.
“We’re interested in reviewing a proposal from Colorado Springs that represents what they would like to put forward in response to the needs of the USOC, the national governing bodies and, most importantly, our athletes,” he said.
Inquiries to the city seeking comment were directed to Mayor Lionel Rivera.
The Business Journal was told that the mayor was busy with the budgeting process and unavailable, but that he would answer questions via e-mail. Here are the questions we posed to the mayor:
- Why were the four developers/developer groups to which the RFI was sent instructed to submit only downtown-area proposals?
- Was there any attempt made to include minority and/or woman owned development companies/ventures into the process? And if not, why?
- How long have these previously secret negotiations with USOC been in progress?
- How long has the city been aware of USOC’s contacts with other cities?
- What is the deadline for the city to submit its proposal to USOC?
- What portion of the proposal’s cost will be born by the city, or by city enterprises?
- Now that the media has obtained copies of the RFI, are you willing to release it to the public?
- Why was the RFI directed to only the four groups that received it?
- Is the RFI process now closed to any other groups? And if so, why would the city not want to review as many proposals as possible?
Rivera’s response: “Thank you for your interest in the USOC. They certainly deserve the CSBJ and the community’s support. Please contact our Public Communications department if you are requesting specific documents. They know what can and can not be released. I have no comment on your other questions.”
Seibel also acknowledged that the USOC has been in contact with other cities, but declined to identify them. However, Chicago newspapers have reported that USOC officials have toured several potential locations there, and the Business Journal has been told that Denver commercial real estate brokers are seeking 100,000 square feet of office space for an unnamed nonprofit which is considering relocating from Colorado Springs.
Seibel declined to comment on either report.