Colorado Springs Switchbacks stadium
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A rendering shows a Weidner Apartment Homes mixed-use apartment and commercial building on the south edge of a Colorado Springs Switchbacks soccer stadium planned southwest of Cimarron and Sahwatch streets in downtown.

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Weidner Apartment Homes of suburban Seattle, which has said it’s planning a $40 million mixed-use building next to a downtown soccer stadium for the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, has purchased land adjacent to the stadium site.

A limited liability company controlled by Weidner paid $1.5 million this month for a 16,400-square-foot industrial building on a little more than one-half acre at 127 W. Moreno Ave., south of the stadium site, El Paso County land records show. The building had housed an electrical supply business that has relocated.

Based on earlier plans laid out by Weidner, and a rendering released this summer showing the mixed-use building and soccer stadium, it would appear the company’s project would extend onto to a second parcel directly to the east.

Weidner Vice President Greg Cerbana reaffirmed the company’s plans to build apartments next to the stadium. But, when asked if Weidner also would purchase the next door parcel or whether it has contracted to buy that land, Cerbana said the company doesn’t comment on future acquisitions. He added that the company is primarily focused on the stadium’s development at this time.

The parcel next to the one Weidner purchased is owned by a limited liability company controlled by the Lane family of Colorado Springs, which also owns the soccer stadium site, land records show. The Lanes, former owners of a Pepsi distributorship in the Springs, bought the property — known as CityGate — two years ago.

In July, representatives of Weidner, the Switchbacks and the city of Colorado Springs announced plans for a 10,000-seat, outdoor stadium for the minor league soccer team on the CityGate site, southwest of Cimmaron and Sahwatch streets.

The stadium and a 3,000-seat indoor arena to be built on the edge of Colorado College now make up a revamped downtown sports and event center, which is one of four City for Champions projects designed to enhance local tourism.

At the time of the July announcement, Weidner officials laid out their role in the project. The stadium will be named for the company, and Cerbana said the company’s preliminary plans called for an adjacent apartment building of 180 to 200 units with ground-floor commercial and retail space.

Weidner has become a minority owner of the Switchbacks and has had naming rights to the team’s current home in northeast Colorado Springs. The company, which owns and manages about 400 apartment projects in several states and Canada, has 20 multifamily properties in the Springs, its website shows.

The sports and event center qualified for a nearly $28 million slice of $120.5 million that the Colorado Economic Development Commission promised over 30 years to help develop the City for Champions projects. The other projects are a new Air Force Academy visitors center, a downtown U.S. Olympic Museum and a sports medicine and performance center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

As part of the state Economic Development Commission’s approval of money for City for Champions, “substantial work” is required to begin on the four projects by Dec. 16 — five years after the panel’s decision to earmark funds.

UCCS broke ground last week on its project, while construction began last year on the Olympic Museum that’s scheduled to open to the public in 2020.

But this month, the city and its private-sector partners asked the Economic Development Commission to grant a one-year extension to allow the sports and event center and visitors center to meet the substantial work requirement. The commission could decide next month whether to OK the extra time.

Business writer, Colorado Springs Gazette

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