A major Colorado Springs real estate development firm in partnership with a local nonprofit announced Friday plans to convert a portion of the former Gazette newspaper building into a year-round public market.
Nor’wood Development Group and the Colorado Springs Public Market Project announced their plans for the eastside property at 30 S. Prospect St. Friday during a Local Food Week event at the Cornerstone Arts Center.
A news release coinciding with the announcement described the project as a year-round market and event space that will bring together members of the local agriculture industry, the business community and the region’s residents and visitors. The release stated Nor’wood is still in the “site-specific planning” phase of the project, which is expected to go live next year.
“Public markets are at the heart of many of our nation’s healthiest and most economically robust cities. They are destinations in and of themselves, and embody the soul of a community,” Nor’wood President Chris Jenkins said in the release. “All of the ingredients are present to create something extraordinary, including a great team, shared ideas, and the will to establish a meaningful public-private partnership positioned to building a true public institution for downtown and our community.”
The repurposing of the Gazette building is part of a larger effort to create a mixed-use development just east of downtown Colorado Springs. The movement began when the Gazette moved its operations downtown in December, followed in February by Nor’wood’s purchase of the former St. Francis Hospital site across the street from the former Gazette property. Nor’wood paid $50,000 for the nine-acre lot. It isn’t clear when Nor’wood assumed ownership of the near-seven-acre Gazette property.
“Nor’wood continues to focus on transforming downtown by supporting opportunities to develop local business and improve the economic infrastructure of the city and region,” according to the news release. “We believe that a thriving downtown will elevate our community’s vitality and resilience, creating a new magnet for business, jobs, events, activities and more.”