Downtown Colorado Springs best in USA
Colorado Springs with its booming downtown economy is well on the way to becoming the greatest in the nation.
That’s not just our opinion, either. U.S. News & World Report ranked Denver the #1 place to live in the nation, and Colorado Springs as #5.
This week, an article in The Gazette’s Viewpoint, “Build the country’s greatest downtown”, the editors said:
Colorado Springs is in play. In one week, our downtown was ranked the ninth best among the country’s small and midsize cities. U.S. News & World Report ranked our community the fifth best American city in which to live.
The Association of Defense Communities gave us the Great American Defense Community Award for developing an environment that’s good for military personnel. This is, in so many ways, a place the rest of the world would like to emulate.
To build on all of this, we should focus more attention on downtown. It is the city’s hub, and the geographic area most appropriate to define who we are.
At her annual State of Downtown presentation Wednesday, the president and CEO of the Downtown Partnership explained how the central commercial district has reached a turning point. The circumstance demands more office space and apartments — stat.
“We have a moment-in-time opportunity where young people who want to live and work downtown are being priced out of major metro markets,” said Downtown Partnership CEO Susan Edmondson.
Being an hour from Denver, downtown Colorado Springs is perfectly situated to attract young, highly educated professionals who cannot afford the soaring housing prices in downtown and lower downtown Denver. And, unlike Denver, downtown Colorado Springs is near the base of America’s most beloved mountain — Pikes Peak. It is surrounded by hiking and biking trails. Any west-facing high-rise window offers views of awe-inspiring beauty. Downtown residents and workers are within minutes of Garden of the Gods — ranked as the best park in the United States by TripAdvisor — surpassing New York’s Central Park.
The downtown YMCA announced major renovation and expansion plans. The state operates a new commuter bus service, called Bustang, between downtown Colorado Springs and Denver. By simply expanding its schedule, the service could make Colorado Springs a more attractive option for businesses that want to draw employees from Denver.
Urban renewal is planned for an old strip of Nevada Avenue south of downtown. Population is booming in most regions of the metropolitan area. The airport is attracting airlines with plans for direct flights to major cities. Desirable employers are choosing our city as a good place to relocate or expand. Investors are improving and building world-class tourist attractions, such as two major indoor water parks on the city’s north side.
City government, after years of difficult reforms, is more stable and functional than ever. Road repairs have been funded by a temporary, voter-approved sales tax. City leaders are not only in the mood to approve downtown developments, they are encouraging them. Most recently, the council gave unanimous approval for a 48-unit apartment complex west of downtown.
The planets have aligned in our favor. Investors would be wise to capitalize on Colorado Springs before the market gets too hot, focusing attention on downtown. Upscale office space, apartments and condominiums are suddenly in high demand.
Let’s work together and embrace opportunity with enthusiasm. Cultural and economic growth are good for us. Let’s create the country’s hippest downtown, at the base of America’s mountain and near the country’s best park.