Goodwill ready to sell land in 2300 block south of avenue to Kum & Go for store, pumps
Preliminary proposal to be discussed at public meeting June 27

       Under a new proposal, Goodwill Industries would sell its 79,000-square-foot property south of Colorado Avenue's 2300 block, the buildings there would be demolished, and a Kum & Go convenience store with gas pumps would be built in their place.

The Goodwill Industries donation/processing center building, which is three-fourths of an acre in size, can be seen along the south side of Colorado Avenue looking west from 23rd Street. The building would be demolished to make room for the proposed Kum & Go convenience store/gas station.
Westside Pioneer photo

       A city-run public meeting is scheduled by Colorado Springs Land Use Review Thursday, June 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. The location will be a large room in the former Goodwill administrative offices at 2320 W. Colorado Ave.
       Ryan Tefertiller of City Land Use Review said that no plan has been formally submitted yet; the goal of the meeting is to put the national chain's ideas in front of citizens and hear what they think of them.
       Artist renderings show a 4,991-square-foot store with a brick facade, set in the rear part of the lot, facing toward the avenue. A separate “concept plan” reveals 10 gas pumps in front. One driveway would provide access from the avenue, a second from Cucharras Street (behind the store) and a third for truck access along what is now a public alley going west from 23rd Street.
       Goodwill spokesperson Bradd Hafer emphasized that the proposal is “very, very preliminary” and that Kum & Go will have representatives at the meeting to answer questions. “This will be one of many, many discussions with the neighborhood,” he added, predicting that the process could take six months to a year.
       Dave Van Ness, executive director of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group, said that Kum & Go has presented its plans at private meetings with the OCCA board, and “it seems as though they [company officials] are very interested in pleasing the community,” including a pledge to give a percentage of income to charity.
       He noted that the suggested brick façade is a sign of Kum & Go's desire to be compatible with historic Old Colorado City between 24th and 27th streets, whose 19th century buildings have predominantly brick exteriors. Also, the lighting would be of a type that doesn't shine out away from the building, he said.
       The preliminary renderings do not show trees or bushes, but Van Ness said the company has assured OCCA that it will provide numerous plantings. Much of the landscaping would go behind the building, as a buffer for the residential neighborhood on Cucharras Street, he said.
       The OCCA board has not taken a position for or against the project, Van Ness said, in answer to a question.
       Postcards for the meeting were mailed to property owners within 500 feet of the Goodwill site. The total was a few more than 100 addresses, Tefertiller said.
       According to city information, if the national chain proceeds with its plans, it would need to submit a zone change, a development plan, a subdivision plat to establish the site as one lot and a request to vacate the alley. Because of the need for a zone change, votes by Planning Commission as well as City Council would be required.
       The portion of the property between the alley and Colorado Avenue currently has a 33,673-square-foot building on it. Constructed in the early 1950s - and formerly a potato chip factory - Goodwill uses the space to receive, process and house donated items. South of the alley is mostly a parking lot with a detached building used for “garage sale” auctions.
       Kum & Go plans to remove all of these buildings, Tefertiller said.
       Goodwill does not anticipate relocating its donation/processing center anywhere else on the Westside, Hafer said.
       The nonprofit has owned most of the property on either side of the 2300 block for about 50 years. On the south side, except for a laundromat, a bank drive-through and several residences along 24th Street, the property takes up the entire block that's bordered by the avenue, 23rd, 24th and Cucharras Street.
       In 2011 Goodwill announced it was moving the bulk of its operations to a new campus on Garden of the Gods Road and that its properties in the 2300 block were for sale (although the retail store would remain).
       That move occurred in 2012, although some of Goodwill's job-training activities continue at the site on a temporary basis.
       In October 2011, Goodwill held a public meeting, asking citizens to offer suggestions on what they would like the property to become after Goodwill is gone.
       Nobody suggested a convenience store with gas pumps. However, Hafer said that Goodwill passed along the various suggestions (mainly for clean, low-key, historically minded commercial and/or residential uses) to its real estate broker as a “wish list” for the property. The broker, in turn, perceived Kum & Go as a good fit because the company is “very customizable, adaptable and community minded,” Hafer said.
       The look of the store “will definitely be a topic of discussion,” Tefertiller said. In his meetings with Kum & Go officials, “we've talked about building character, archictural details, all kinds of things they could do to make it fit in better.” As an example, he said, Wal-Mart altered its design to be more compatible with Woodland Park a few years ago.”
       In existence since 1959, Kum & Go has stores in 11 states. It currently operates nine stores in the Pikes Peak region. Another is slated for the new Fillmore/Chestnut intersection being created by an ongoing Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) project.

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