After a west side neighborhood meeting Tuesday night, plans to redevelop the Goodwill building on West Colorado Avenue remained uncertain, but that didn't faze business owners and residents who had plenty of other redevelopment ideas for the neighborhood.
Suggestions included the creation of a trolley system that would run between Old Colorado City - the historic West Colorado Avenue retail corridor - and Manitou Springs. Another resident asked about transforming Fountain Creek into a river walk that would offer recreational activities, such as kayaking.
Still, the future of the Goodwill site on the 2300 block has long been at the forefront of redevelopment discussions. Last month, Kum & Go pulled its plans to build a convenience store and gas station on the site after residents protested.
New potential buyers want to negotiate with Goodwill, but no one knows now whether the nonprofit wants to sell.
"I've talked to them, and all they can tell me is that they're in a due-diligence phase to explore their financial options," Welling Clark, president of the Organization of Westside Neighbors, said to the crowd of about 40 residents and business owners at the Tuesday meeting.
"I don't know what's happened between the time that Kum & Go left and now, and I can't really get a straight answer from them."
Upon Kum & Go's withdrawal, Goodwill officials seemed open to the idea to sell its parcels, possibly to be redeveloped with lofts, restaurants and retail shops. They did say, however, that they wanted an offer to come fast, because the property has been on the market for two years and is a growing financial liability.
But Goodwill spokesman Bradd Hafer recently said the organization wants to open a retail center at Hancock Avenue and Academy Boulevard and that holding onto the building on West Colorado Avenue and moving another aspect of the nonprofit there might free up money needed for a new store.
"I think it's unfortunate that Goodwill won't come to the table and negotiate now," said El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark, wife of Welling Clark. The couple also runs a west side bed and breakfast.
Two developers remain interested in developing the Goodwill property. They are Rexroad APG and independent developer Eddie Bishop.