In the “good news” category, two area home builders are planning additional models, banking on an improving home sales market during 2009. Vantage Homes will open its Monterey II European cottage-style model in Cordera at 4872 Turquoise Lake Court next spring. The three bedroom-plus-loft home will include Energy Star and Built Green features, as well as “move-up” amenities like a gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry, entertainment area and hardwood floors.
The Research Corporate Center offices at 8610 Explorer Drive were impressive, and the Front Range views were spectacular, but that said, NAI Highland Commercial Group’s six owner-members decided to move back downtown to 2 North Cascade Ave., Suite 300, said spokeswoman Bonnie Nuss. The commercial brokerage left downtown two-and-a-half years ago in favor of Class A offices on the city’s fast-growing north side.
First phase construction on six multi-tenant buildings planned for a 650,000-square-foot University Village retail center on North Nevada Ave. is scheduled to kick-off Dec.12, according to Kevin Kratt of Kratt Commercial Real Estate. “In addition to Costco which opens in August 2009, we also still expect Lowe’s and Kohl’s to be ready to go by October,” he said, adding that new retail tenants will likely include names like Panera Bread Co., which plans to open the company’s fifth local store.
As Manitou Springs prepares to enter phase 5A of a three-year facelift to its downtown, Economic Development Director Kitty Clemens has alerted local merchants to some possible construction-related obstruction in the area. “The burial of overhead power lines and streetscape improvements for Manitou Avenue will continue as … the downtown revitalization project resumes in the 900 block of Manitou Avenue the first week of January 2009,” she said.
In spite of the less-than-optimistic national retail trends, leasing and development continues an upswing along the north Powers Boulevard corridor. “Retail has slowed, but there’s always interest in good locations from strong tenants,” said Patrick Kerscher of Southwestern Commercial Properties. The Plaza at Stetson Hills shopping center, for example, will break ground before the end of the year, with tenant move-ins expected by July.
The former Gas Operations building next to America the Beautiful Park has become a beehive of activity since LandCo Equity Partners pulled the trigger on the 32,000-square-foot project last month. Kurt Kaltenbacher, owner of Copestone Construction Co., said that more than a dozen subcontractors have assigned 40 to 50 people a day to work on the interior remodel. As many as six sports national governing bodies are expected to move into the former industrial building next February.
DLR Group has been selected to provide architectural and engineering services for the design of an indoor, 50,000-square-foot Equestrian Event Center and ancillary facilities project being developed by the Southern Ute Tribe in Ignacio. DLR is teaming with the American Indian firm iiná bá Inc. to provide services.
The 28,000-square-foot, 44-suite Residence at Skyway Park senior community off Arcturus Drive on the city’s southwest side will open its doors during spring 2009. The Diaz Fritz Group is the general contractor. Developed as a low- to moderate-assisted living community, the facility will resemble two others in Colorado completed by National Health Associates Inc., a Florida-based partnership.
An 8,000-square-foot Tierra Vista Communities housing office has opened at Peterson Air Force Base. The $315,000 office was remodeled by Murphy Constructors and is in the former Base Exchange building. The facility includes a small community room and is equipped with free wireless Internet, a large-screen television and work areas with desks, as well as private consultation areas for the leasing team and residents.
Ranch Hand Truck Accessories, an aftermarket wholesale and retail supplier, is opening a 12,000-square-foot showroom and distribution center at 4315 N. Nevada Ave. The Shiner, Texas-based firm expects to hire half a dozen employees for its Colorado Springs operation, said Greg Chumchal, general manager. About 9,000 square feet will be dedicated to warehouse-distribution.
The Classical Academy has begun construction at the Pikes Peak Community College Rampart Range Campus, 11995 Highway 83. The District 20 school is the state’s largest “bricks and mortar” charter school. The venture between TCA and PPCC allows the charter school to build a new kindergarten through grade 12 on state-owned land and to expand PPCC class offerings at the same time. The result will be considerable cost savings, said PPCC spokesman, George Sanchez.
This summer, several health care providers formerly located near Penrose Community Hospital moved north to the Northcare office building adjacent to the St. Francis Medical Center. Only an urgent care facility at the former hospital remains to serve nearby residents, and only on a limited basis. As a result of the move, many North Academy Boulevard neighborhood residents lost easy access to day-to-day medical care.