Kum & Go plans to build a convenience store southwest of Academy Boulevard and Galley Road near The Citadel mall in Colorado Springs, which could help inject life into the Central and South Academy corridor.

The family-owned, Iowa-based chain has submitted documents to city planners proposing the demolition of a vacant building at 3770 Citadel Drive North, which had been occupied by a medical training facility. The building is just east of a shuttered Toys R Us and northeast of the mall.

In place of the razed building, Kum & Go plans to construct a 5,600-square-foot store, with a half-dozen fueling stations and 23 parking spaces, the documents show.

Kum & Go arrived in the Pikes Peak region in 2012 with plans to bring roughly two dozen stores to the area. It now has about 20 locations and its stores — typically larger than 7-Elevens and offering broad food selections and fresh-made items — have become familiar parts of Colorado Springs’ retail landscape.

But adding a store along Academy Boulevard and near The Citadel will be a plus for that immediate area, said Mark Useman, executive managing director of brokerage Colorado Springs Commercial and who’s represented Kum & Go in the Pikes Peak region.

City officials several years ago identified Central and South Academy as troubled, in part, because of a number of retail losses; last year, Toys R Us and Babies R Us joined the roster of stores that have closed along or near Central and South Academy over the last 10 to 15 years.

The 47-year-old Citadel mall, meanwhile, is competing to remain relevant at a time when many consumers shop online or prefer newer and trendier shopping centers.

“It is somewhat of a revitalization of that corner,” Useman said of the planned Kum & Go.

While Kum & Go has built several stores in newer parts of town and along Powers Boulevard, InterQuest Parkway and other prominent retail corridors, it’s also constructed outlets in aging areas, Useman said.

“We’re also constantly looking for infill sites in older, established areas that have good traffic counts and good demographics,” he said. “You still have that at The Citadel area.”

Kum & Go must obtain city approval of a development plan for the new store, and then plans to purchase the property and demolish the existing building. It’s possible the demolition could take place this year, and construction of the store would begin soon after, Useman said.

7-Eleven continues to dominate the Colorado Springs convenience store market with several dozen locations, but Loaf ‘N Jug, Circle K and others also have expanded. Utah-based Maverik recently entered the Springs and has two stores.

Business writer, Colorado Springs Gazette

Load comments