The two-building, 217-unit Pikes Peak Plaza apartments have been proposed for the northwest corner of Pikes Peak Avenue and Prospect Street on the east edge of downtown Colorado Springs. The project would include buildings of four and five stories and a parking garage.

A two-building, 217-unit apartment project that would allow renters to walk or bike to restaurants, bars and museums in downtown Colorado Springs, while also providing them access to Shooks Run Trail, has been proposed for downtown’s east edge.

The project, to be called Pikes Peak Plaza, would include buildings of four and five stories, a 5½-story parking garage with about 320 spaces and 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space on about 3 acres on the northwest corner of Pikes Peak Avenue and Prospect Street.

Pikes Peak Plaza would join a wave of apartments taking shape in or around downtown; developers have said the projects would satisfy the demand by renters who want a so-called urban-living lifestyle, while downtown advocates have clamored for more housing to help make the area a live-work-play environment.

Recent projects include the 33-unit Blue Dot Place that opened in 2016 on South Nevada Avenue; the 171-unit 333 ECO apartments that arrived two years later at Colorado and Wahsatch avenues; a 178-unit building on South Cascade Avenue set to open this year; and as many as 1,000 apartments planned in southwest downtown, near the new U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and an outdoor multiuse stadium.

Colorado Springs’ population and employment growth, along with an expanding and thriving downtown, are driving Pikes Peak Plaza, said Denver developer Taylor Turano.

He’s partnering with Jeff Dunn of Colorado Springs, a 30-year commercial developer and investor who’s done several local projects, and Dunn’s son, Ryan, of Denver, also a developer and investor who’s worked with his father.

The Dunns have owned the site at Pikes Peak and Prospect for many years and have been waiting for the right project, Turano said. A previous retail development planned for the site was shelved several years ago.

“We’re very bullish on our particular location as it feeds into some of the new and exciting developments that are occurring downtown,” he said.

In addition to being east of downtown’s core, Pikes Peak Plaza would be adjacent to the Shooks Run Trail, which runs along the property’s west edge. As envisioned, Pikes Peak Plaza would have an access point to the trail from its north edge, according to a proposal the developers have submitted to the city’s Land Use Review Division.

About 70% of Pikes Peak Plaza would be composed of studio and one-bedroom apartments, with the rest being two-bedroom units, Turano said.

The project also would have a clubhouse, an outdoor saltwater pool and a courtyard with a covered shelter, loungers and grills. Turano said he and the Dunns also envision a specialty fitness center that would occupy all or a portion of the 8,000 square feet of retail space. The center would have individual rooms for activities such as Pilates, spinning and muscle activation therapy.

“We think it fits in well with the neighborhood and the residents,” Turano said. The fitness center, he said, would provide “a little bit more of what people tend to have to leave their homes or apartments for.”

While rents haven’t been determined, Turano said they’d be set at market rates and comparable or slightly less than the 333 ECO apartments, which was developed by Nor’wood Development Group of Colorado Springs.

“This is an urban, infill mixed-use project with densities and we’re going to try to emulate the success that Nor’wood’s had,” Turano said.

In a best-case scenario, a groundbreaking would take place in the summer and the first units would open in the second or third quarter of 2022, Turano said.

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