Colorado Springs businessman and Briargate developer C. Lewis “Lew” Christensen passed away Dec. 24 after a long battle with cancer.

Christensen was known by many in the Colorado Springs business community, most notably for his work on the Briargate and Peregrine communities.

After finishing service in the U.S. Air Force, Christensen went to work for Mountain States Telephone Company in 1962. He worked for various AT&T companies in Montana, Arizona, Illinois and New York before being transferred to Colorado Springs in 1970.

In 1973, when he was to be transferred again, he resigned from the company and entered the real estate business in Colorado Springs.

In 1977, he met John Venezia who was beginning plans for the Briargate Master Planned Community . The two partnered on the development of Briargate until Venezia’s death in 1992, and the project was sold to the Gary & Dusty Loo Family in 1995.

Christensen and Venezia also partnered on development of the Peregrine Master Planned Community and the construction and ownership of various commercial properties in the Colorado Springs area.

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Christensen served on the board of directors for the Chamber, the Economic Development Corp., the Homebuilders Association and Penrose St. Francis Hospital.

The Chamber of Commerce named him as the Business Citizen of the Year in 1993, and the Economic Development Corp. awarded him with the distinguished service award in 1999.

The Colorado Homebuilders Association selected him as the Citizen of the Year in 1991 and gave him its “Founders Award” in 2009.

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