In late July, a wrecking crew with Christofferson Commercial Builders tore down the 46-year-old structure at 1011 S. 21st St. According to Alan Whitaker of Christofferson, his company is also handling the construction of a new store on the 1-acre site, with completion scheduled in mid-December.
The facility closed at the end of May, after Colorado Springs Planning staff had approved a development plan earlier in the spring for its replacement.
Plans show the new 7-Eleven having the same north-south alignment, with gas pumps in front as before. But the building will be smaller - 3,062 square feet compared with 7,180 - because it won't have office space on either side like the old place did.
The store size is comparable to that of other modern 7-Elevens.
The project follows the store's purchase last October by 7-Eleven Inc. in Dallas, Texas. The site previously had been owned by a local group, AHAG LLC, which still owns 1.77 acres of vacant land off Broadway Street at 1035 S. 21st.
JA recognizes leaders
There's a story behind the new sign on the outside wall at 2320 W. Colorado Ave., the building that houses Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado.
Below the noprofit organization's name are the words, in raised letters: “Karl & Mary Flemke Center for Free Enterprise.”
The sign was unveiled in July after a brief dedication ceremony with 50-some attendees that included John Suthers, mayor of Colorado Springs; Thayer Tutt and Bill Hybl, president and chairman/CEO, respectively, of the El Pomar Foundation; and several members of the Flemke family.
From 1982 until his death in 1994 at age 63, Karl Flemke was the national president of Junior Achievement USA, greatly expanding the organization's reach, according to speakers at the dedication event. Flemke's tenure included the 1987 relocation of JA USA's national headquarters from Connecticut to Colorado Springs.
“He had an impact on millions of kids,” commented Ted Mossman of Colorado Business Bank, the current board chair of Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado. “It's a noble and worthy way to spend your life.”
JA is a nonprofit that provides programs about entrepreneurship to elementary and secondary students.
JA USA is the parent organization of JA SoCo, which has existed in the Pikes Peak region since 1954. Serving nearly 50 Colorado counties, the latter organization moved to 2320 W. Colorado in 2014 with the plan to remodel much of the building's interior for a “Center for Free Enterprise,” which will consist of an interactive “Biz Town” for fifth-graders and a “Finance Park” for eighth-graders.
Mary Flemke, 81, who passed on in August (a month after the sign went up), headed the Colorado Springs School from 1989 to 2000, worked with the Boys & Girls Club and also served as a cabinet member for the ongoing capital campaign to build the center.
Carrie McKee, the president and CEO of JA SoCo.
clarified that all but $500,000 has been raised in that campaign, adding her hope that by spring 2018 the center's remodel can begin.
Albertson's to Safeway
The Albertsons in the West Wind shopping center is now a Safeway.
No major changes are planned for the 22-year-old, 5,100-square-foot grocery, according to Kris Staaf, public affairs director for Safeway's Denver Division.
But there's been an effort to upgrade the shopping experience. “We're trying to take the best of both brands,” Staaf said.
The West Wind store, at 4405 Centennial Blvd., is one of the three Albertson's stores in Colorado Springs that were changed over.
The employees in those stores have been retained.
The two grocery chains had merged in 2015.
Safeway's Denver Division oversees stores in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Safeway stores have been on the Colorado Springs Westside in varying locations since the late 1920s. A long-time store is on Colorado Avenue west of 31st Street.
New art gallery opens
Colorado Fine Art Works, a gallery with a working studio, has opened at 2616 W. Colorado Ave., Unit 1.
The family business is owned by Roger Carlson, with his wife Judy as artist/manager. Other long-time professional artists are their son, Eric Carlson, as well as Irene Braun and Judy Michael-Myers.
“We offer fine art that can be customized to personal taste, and we do commission art to accommodate special requests,” Judy said.
Items sold include pottery, photography, copper trees and books.
Roger added that an Old Colorado City location was chosen because of the tourist traffic, ArtWalk, the existing artist presence “and we have a lot of friends out here.”
Colorado Fine Art Works is open Tuesdays to Saturdays and by appointment.
The business can be reached at 640-0306 or email@example.com.
Bike-oriented pub coming
The east end of the Red Rock Canyon shopping center will take on a new look this fall, with the opening of the Trail's End Tap Room.
The pub will occupy a 3,200-square-foot space, with a deck/patio on its north and east sides.
A remodeling of the space has been going on this summer.
According to business owner Kevin Weese, bicycling, hiking and jeeping will be the Tap Room themes, including an “indoor bike works station.”
The Tap Room will not have a kitchen, but customers will be allowed to bring in their own food.
The pub will also be the “first in Colorado Springs where you pour your own beer,” Weese said (using a card they procure when they come in).
The Red Rock shopping center is in the 3100 block of West Colorado Avenue.
Do you have any news about your business? Call the Westside Pioneer at 471-6776.