Three construction cranes in downtown Colorado Springs are three more than most people have seen in years.
While cranes might be common in Denver, they signal a reinvigorated downtown for Colorado Springs. About $620 million in downtown projects – including apartments, hotels, offices, restaurants and public improvements – either have been completed in recent years, are underway or are on the drawing board, according to the Downtown Partnership advocacy group.
"It is definitely more development than we’ve seen in anyone’s recent memory," said Laurel Prud’homme, a partnership spokeswoman.
The 13-story Plaza of the Rockies south tower, completed in 2001, was downtown’s last high-rise. Now, a new 10-story hotel is underway and could be joined by other multistory buildings.
A stronger economy is one reason for the spate of construction. But some projects also are market driven, Prud’homme said.
New apartments, for example, will cater to baby boomers and young professionals – not just millennials – who want to live within walking distance to stores, restaurants and bars downtown.
"That’s what people want," Prud’homme said. "That’s what we’re seeing coming to downtown."