LAND DEVELOPMENT:
Houses, hotel, apartments, memory care center, church

       Here are information capsules on Westside land development:
      
       Gold Hill Mesa - Grading in a 5.2-acre area off Lower Gold Camp Road has readied it for 41 residential lots, most of them to become single-family homes. They will comprise Filing 4 in Gold Hill's Phase 1 development plan.
       The grading also shaped the future Filing 5 - just west of 4 - that will include more houses as well as an extension of Eclipse Drive to 21st Street, where it is to line up with Skyview Lane. Skyview currently deadends on the opposite side of 21st.
      
       Holiday Inn Express - A major reuse of an existing building has created the Holiday Inn Express at 105 N. Spruce St.
       The 80-room hotel opened in May after extensive renovations that lasted about a year and a half and cost roughly $4 million.
       The four-story structure had housed El Paso County social services for nearly 40 years.
       The redevelopment was the vision of Ted Jarosz, who leads a family partnership that since 2004 has owned the Clarion Hotel a block away on Bijou.
       Work included parking-lot landscaping and gutting the old building interior to create a lodging facility with modern amenities.
      

A backhoe and dump truck team up during the demolition of the gymnasium on the original Bristol School site in the 700 block of North Walnut Street. The fence at far right is next to Dale Street. The building at the left is a classroom building that is to be preserved and converted into a house. County records show that both the classroom building and gymnasium were built in 1951.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Old Bristol School - The demolition of the old gymnasium in July was a sign that redevelopment is coming to the site of the original Bristol Elementary School in the 00 block of Walnut Street.
       Still standing is a roughly 2,300-square-foot classroom building that was next to the gym. It occupies by far the largest of four lots on the half-acre site, as depicted in a preliminary plat submitted to the city by property owner/developer Jon Day.
       A separate half-acre subdivision takes up the south half of the block. For that property, City Land Use Review approved the Resiloft Subdivision last year, allowing a single-family house on each of four lots.
       The block was last used for a school in 2009. The current Bristol School is in Walnut's 800 block.
      
       Sentinel Ridge - City Council has approved changes in zoning and revised plans for the 45.5-acre Sentinel Ridge property off Fillmore Street and Mesa Road.
       Initially approved in 2009 for single-family homes (88 in all, none of which were built), the development by the Sunrise Company now is to be a mix of single-family and multi-family, along with a skilled nursing/rehabilitation facility.
       A church use has also been approved for 8 of the acres, at the southeast corner of Fillmore and Mesa. However, council's decision to allow only a church use there - in keeping with a request from some nearby residents - was made over the objection of the developer and First Free Evangelical Church (a longtime Westside entity that had been planning to buy the site) that such zoning is overly limiting.
      
       Calvary Worship Center expansion - The church off King Street east of Uintah is working with the city and neighborhood on an infill project that would greatly expand its scope. The proposal is for a three-phase project, consisting of an addition to the six-year-old main building on the current 5˝-acre church site, demolition of a 1950s-era building that the church now uses, construction of a new worship center in its spot (with over twice the seating) and an increase in parking.
       The most discussion has involved a planned new parking lot, on a 3-acre property extending east of the currently developed Calvary site along the face of a hillside surrounded by residential housing. After hearing neighborhood worries, City Land Use Review is recommending a smaller parking lot on that acreage.
      
       Gabion Apartments - According to developer Eddie Bishop, construction is about to start on this 20-unit project in the 600 block of West Monument Street.
       The project, which involves an extra effort at “green” technology, received approval from the city last year.
      
       MorningStar at Bear Creek - Just built on five acres at 2450 Lower Gold Camp Road, the memory-care center is taking reservations and will begin housing residents after a grand opening Sept. 5-7.
       Geared for seniors suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia, the one-story facility offers 48 bedroom areas in a 35,475-square-foot building.
       The $9.5 million development project was completed in August after about 11 months of construction.
       The center was developed by MorningStar Senior Living in Denver, whose “family of communities” currently consists of another center in Colorado Springs, four in the Denver area and another in Phoenix, Ariz.
      
       Old Colorado City welcome center - Renovations this summer have been transforming a 116-year-old, Victorian-era house at 2324 W. Colorado Ave. into a welcome center for tourists.
       The Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group bought the site last May from Junior Achievement (which had purchased properties on the north side of the 2300 block that Goodwill had formerly owned).
       Plans call for the center to be open by Oct. 1, according to OCCA Executive Director Dave Van Ness.
       The goal is to style it after the Convention and Visitors bureau downtown, where tourists can use restrooms and pick up information on lodging, restaurants, attractions and events.
       In addition, the 1,638-square-foot, two-story structure will become OCCA headquarters. The house's meeting room will also be rentable to the public, and its extra office space will be leased.

Westside Pioneer article