Approved by the Colorado Springs City Council on December 14, 2004. The North Nevada Corridor Urban Renewal Area is located in central Colorado Springs in the northern segment of the North Nevada Avenue Corridor. The area is bounded by Monument Creek to the west and the I-25 – North Nevada Avenue interchange, including several commercial parcels located along the interstate frontage road, to the north. The Study Area’s eastern border is quite irregular, but generally includes a significant portion of the UCCS campus located along North Nevada Avenue including all properties contiguous to the corridor (to the east) and once removed. The intersection of Garden of the Gods and North Nevada Avenue, including properties in the southeast and southwest quadrants then form the southern boundary. The western boundary is generally formed by the Monument Creek corridor. The purpose of the North Nevada Avenue Corridor Urban Renewal Plan is to reduce, eliminate and prevent the spread of blight within the Urban Renewal Area and to stimulate the growth and development in the corridor over the near- and long-term. Specifically, the purpose of the Plan is to promote a mix of uses which leverage community and institutional investment in the corridor and creates linkages to surrounding natural amenities, neighborhoods and educational institutions in accordance with the 2002 Colorado Springs Comprehensive Plan and North Nevada Avenue Corridor Reinvestment Study.
Development and Design Objectives
The proposed development character for the Urban Renewal Area includes a variety of land uses and densities that will distinguish one area from another yet create an identity for the whole. Proposed land uses within the Plan include mixed-use, community retail and lifestyle centers (including local and national retailers); business campus commercial; research and development campus (es); and, civic, cultural, arts and recreational facilities, together with select transportation and gateway improvements. Many uses that are present in the Urban Renewal Area today which fall within one of these categories, and which are in compliance with existing City codes including zoning, are considered compatible with uses in the Plan. However, the Authority may use its powers and resources to support those projects which further the development objectives of the Plan. Future land uses have been designated based not only on market needs and trends, but also on existing characteristics, uses and opportunities. As such, redevelopment of the Urban Renewal Area will provide for and promote a greater range and mix of land uses. In order to better support the economic success of the Urban Renewal Area, the Plan promotes the integration of uses, enhanced linkages into and out of the Urban Renewal Area, improved pedestrian and vehicular circulation patterns, parking support, and a level of intensity beyond that which exists today. Other objectives include:
- Eliminate blight and prevent environmental deficiencies
- Improve the relationship between this area and surrounding uses
- Increase property values
- Create a series of identifiable destinations
- Provide a mix of land uses supportive of and complimentary to planned improvements in the area and along the corridor
- Create housing opportunities currently lacking in the market
- Provide ease of vehicular and pedestrian circulation east and west, as well as within districts in the Study Area
- Allow for a range of commercial retail products
- Provide well-designed parking sufficient to meet the needs of area uses (promote shared parking solutions)
- Encourage the continued presence of businesses within the Urban Renewal Area that are consistent with the Plan vision
- Support the University’s efforts to grow and diversify their campus
- Advance the City’s and UCCS’s efforts to make the corridor a major employment center
- Provide a range of financing mechanisms for private property re-investment
- Mitigate the impacts to businesses from future transportation improvements
- Work with corrections facility operators to find a location solution
- Encourage public-private partnerships to implement the corridor plan
- Pursue national, as well as local, restaurant and lodging operators
- Encourage development of affordable housing equivalent to a minimum of 10% of all housing units in the Urban Renewal Area (Note: Affordability is assumed to address the housing needs of purchasers at or below 80% of the Urban Renewal Area median household income)
Research and Development Campus (east of North Nevada Avenue and west of the UCCS campus)
Designated an Employment Center and given its relationship to the UCCS campus, and proximity to the Burlington Northern Railroad corridor, this area has been designated for employment center uses including research and development. Opportunities would include a range of office, light industrial and research and development products with supporting commercial space. Users would be targeted to those who desire access to an institutional anchor such as UCCS.
Community Retail and Lifestyle Centers (west of North Nevada Avenue and centrally located within the corridor)
Designated a Commercial Center this area’s full development could include major region-serving commercial uses, connected to higher density residential products located in the corridor, as well as the existing trail system. While private interests will provide the framework for new development, an increase in density of uses would be compatible with existing adjacent uses to the south and west and continued development of the UCCS campus.
Mixed Use Neighborhood Retail Centers – (west of North Nevada Avenue and North of Garden of the Gods Road))
Designated a Community Activity Center this area will be promoted for a mix of office and commercial uses, retail, entertainment, lodging, parking facilities, and high-density residential complexes, consistent with the intensity and character of urbanized commercial corridors. While existing uses will influence the character of early redevelopment (and development) projects, opportunities to maximize building height and massing, provide architectural diversity, and deviate from historic themes are perhaps greatest here. Physical, visual and pedestrian linkages from the corridor to Monument Creek and other open areas will help establish this area as the southern “gateway” of the Urban Renewal Area.
Civic, Cultural, Arts and Recreational Facilities – (north of the intersection of Austin Bluffs Parkway and east of North Nevada Avenue)
Adjacent to the UCCS campus and existing region-serving recreation facilities and supportive parking, this area of the Urban Renewal Plan offers the greatest opportunity for public recreation, open space, public art, public buildings and urban spaces, and pedestrian linkages to City trail systems. Note: Existing recreational facilities could remain or be replaced to accommodate this redevelopment scenario.
Business Campus Commercial – (north of the Research and Development campus with access via I-25)
Adjacent to the I-25 corridor and Research and Development campus, this area of the Urban Renewal Plan offers the significant opportunities for commercial development. This area will likely experience gradual redevelopment and as such, will benefit from standards constraints in terms of architectural style – establishing the corridor’s image and theme within a gateway setting. Features will include “gateway” signage, professional office and business uses, lodging, community and campus services-oriented uses, urban treatment scale and character.
While the Urban Renewal Plan is designed to be flexible, adapting to prevailing market conditions, and promoting architectural character and treatment reflective of appropriate resources and physical conditions, there are common design/development goals which will be present throughout the Urban Renewal Area. These goals include:
- Mix of land uses that promotes vitality and livability in each of the districts
- Variety of land use densities to address housing affordability, market demand, and enhance developer participation
- Higher design standard among all land uses
- Attractive entryways (“gateways”) to the corridor and downtown beyond
- Off-site parking opportunities without negatively impacting convenient access to area businesses
- Transportation improvements designed to enhance access into and out of the area
- Minimal pedestrian/vehicular conflict
- Pedestrian-friendly landscaped streetscape which unifies uses and Plan components
- Public improvements consistent with design objectives for entire area
- Lighting and signage standards which are flexible, yet exhibit a unified theme and complement existing and proposed structures