Downtown Colorado Springs attracted significant attention from investors in 2019 and posted strong development fundamentals and positive demographic trends, according to the State of Downtown Colorado Springs report.
The economic snapshot, released today by the Downtown Development Authority, focuses on the 120 city blocks that comprise the 1.1-square-mile downtown area.
The report went to press just as the COVID-19 crisis began to rock the city, raising many uncertainties. But “the fundamentals supporting Downtown Colorado Springs’ resilience are strong,” according to the report.
“Our fifth annual State of Downtown Report marks nearly $1.5 billion in development — a 68 percent growth year over year,” the report’s introduction states.
It contains a wealth of data tracking the growth of development and investment, living, shopping and dining, offices, tourism, mobility, arts, culture and entertainment that made 2019 a banner year for downtown Colorado Springs.
Some highlights of the report:
New investment in 2019 was nearly triple the total investment in downtown in 2016. “Downtown is experiencing a healthy balance of investment across all districts, with the City Center and Southwest Downtown as the powerhouses at 30 percent each of total development dollars.”
Nine multifamily residential projects were announced that will add nearly 1,250 units in the next three years. Rents continued to grow, but about one-third are planned as affordable units, and another 12 percent are targeted toward the workforce housing market.
Thirty new retail, food/beverage and service businesses and expansions opened or were announced in 2019.
About 340,000 square feet of office space was available at the end of 2019. Total office space reached almost 5 million square feet. “Especially noticeable in 2019, Downtown is experiencing considerable investment in existing product across all classes, as tenants and landlords invest in improvements to meet the needs of a changing workforce.”
Just over 26,600 employees worked downtown, a 9.5 percent increase in the past five years. While downtown represents just 0.05 percent of the total land area in El Paso County, it is the site of 7.5 percent of all jobs countywide. About 2,500 businesses are located in the greater downtown area.
Downtown continued its role as the region’s cultural hub, with patrons supporting more than 40 galleries and live arts venues and almost 1,000 arts, cultural and special events. Attendance at downtown’s four leading cultural institutions — the Pikes Peak Center, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum and Cottonwood Center for the Arts — reached nearly 500,000, a 62 percent increase over the past five years.
See the full report at DowntownCS.com/reports.