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A new name and new life for stalled Colorado Crossing project on Colorado Springs' north side

February 22, 2017 Updated: February 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm
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A partially finished, 14-screen movie theater complex at the former Colorado Crossing development on Colorado Springs' north side will be sold to New Mexico-based Icon Cinema, which plans to complete the entertainment facility later this year. COURTESY WESTSIDE INVESTMENT PARTNERS

The new owners of Colorado Crossing, the stalled mixed-use development in northern Colorado Springs, have renamed it "Victory Ridge" and hope a sports complex and variety of residential and commercial uses will transform the troubled project into a winner.

Westside Investment Partners of suburban Denver, which paid $22.1 million in October for the 153-acre property southeast of InterQuest and Voyager parkways, rolled out the rebranding campaign Wednesday amid details of finishing a partially completed office building, movie theater complex and parking garage at the site.

Other plans include new hotels, apartments, stores and restaurants at Victory Ridge and setting aside up to 55 acres for the Larry Ochs Sports Complex.

"There's a number of head starts out there with some of the existing improvements," said Otis Moore, a Westside principal. "Even though they've been sitting out there for eight years or so, they still allow us to complete the office building and some of the other retail more easily than they would have if we were just starting with a blank slate."

Colorado Springs developer Jannie Richardson launched Colorado Crossing a decade ago, envisioning it with 1.6 million square feet of stores, restaurants and offices, 1,600 residences and a 14-screen theater complex.

But the economy nosedived, while Richardson's critics accused her of mismanaging the project. She couldn't pay more than $30 million to dozens of contractors and subcontractors, work stopped on the project in 2008, and a handful of buildings were left unfinished. Her development company filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

After 4½ years in court, creditors took over in October 2014 and began looking for buyers.

Victory Ridge joins InterQuest Marketplace, InterQuest Commons and The Gateway at InterQuest as one of several developments in the area. The sports complex, being developed by the Scott Hall Field of Dreams Foundation, is expected to include ball diamonds, multipurpose fields, concessions, restrooms and space for picnics, soccer and warmups, according to details presented last month to Colorado Springs city officials.

Last week, the City Council approved a land swap to help launch the project - giving Westside the city-owned, 47-acre original sports complex site at Powers Boulevard and Old Ranch Road. In turn, Westside provides 36 acres at Victory Ridge for the sports facility, Moore said. The Field of Dreams Foundation will have the chance to buy nearly 20 more acres, Moore said.

At the same time, Westside has contracted to sell the partially completed theater complex to New Mexico-based Icon Cinema, a family-owned operator of upscale movie facilities, Moore said. That deal could be completed within a few weeks, and Icon could finish the theater complex by year's end, he said.

The sports facility and theaters will draw thousands to Victory Ridge, whose name is meant to tie into Field of Dreams and reflect a look toward the mountains, Moore said. Site visitors are expected to spur demand for restaurants, hotels and the like, said Patrick Kerscher, a broker with real estate firm CBRE that's marketing Victory Ridge's retail component.

"It separates itself from just being another retail strip in the trade area where we're all chasing the same tenants," Kerscher said.

A Victory Ridge concept plan also envisions a hotel next to the 1,100-space parking garage, which Westside plans to finish. Other uses include more hotels, stores, restaurants and apartments.

Meanwhile, Westside hopes to resume work within six months on a four-story, 110,000-square-foot office building, Moore said. It also plans to complete a pair of two-story buildings on either side of the theater complex. Buildout for the 153 acres is expected over three to seven years, he said.

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