Projects at Hwy 24/ 21st Street get started

       Grading and excavation work have been going on simultaneously this month at the northeast and southeast corners of Highway 24 and 21st Street in preparation for the construction of two new retail stores.
       At the northeast corner, which has never been built on, will be the privately owned Angler's Covey fly-fishing store. The southeast corner, which had been a gas station for many years, will have an Advance Auto Parts store.
       Both businesses are slated to open next spring, possibly as early as March.
       Access to both stores will be from 21st Street only.
       Here is updated information on each project:
       Angler's Covey - The removal of dead and unneeded trees along Fountain Creek has been completed, and the finalizing of the building permit should allow the start of construction this month, according to store owner Dave Leinweber.
       A main interim goal is to have the parking lot graded before Christmas, which would allow the store - currently operating out of a 12-by-60-foot trailer in the Perkins Motor Company lot across Fountain Creek - to move to the site. The trailer would be set up in the lot while the permanent, 5,000-square-foot store gets built just east of it, Leinweber said.
       Other early work will include the curb, gutter, sidewalk and right-in/right-out access along 21st Street and a water line from the city main near the intersection. In addition to the store construction and parking lot completion in the months ahead, improvements will be made along the creek beside the property, improving water flow, stabilizing the banks and creating a creekside trail, Leinweber said.
       The store had previously operated for 18 years in 1,200 square feet of space in a converted house on West Colorado Avenue.
       Advance Auto Parts - This will be the fifth Colorado Springs store for the auto parts retail chain. Some of those stores were originally Western Auto, a company that Advance has since bought out, according to Tom “T.K.” Kay, a local consultant on the project.
       The Westside store is owned by an affiliate of Cadence Capital Investments, a regional developer, he said.
       The lot size is 37,856 square feet (just under an acre), and the building will be 6,889 square feet. This is close to the size of the Checker Auto Parts store at 26th Street and Highway 24, Kay said
       “We like the traffic and the visibility” at the 21st/Highway 24 intersection, he said, adding that the location choice followed the lead of Checker, which had been on Colorado Avenue before moving to its current site about three years ago.
       “When Checker moved off the avenue, it brought attention to Highway 24,” Kay said, noting that the new Angler's Covey store will also provide an attraction at the intersection.
       According to City Planner James Mayerl, access to the Advance Auto store will be via 7-Eleven's 21st Street entrance, just to the south, which is aligned with the Bott Avenue stoplight.

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