In 2007, efforts were set in place to ease the burden of the development process in the Downtown Colorado Springs area to ensure accelerated investment. These efforts included the creation of a downtown Form Based Code and affiliated Downtown Review Board, which serves as the planning commission for the Downtown area.
Since that time, Downtown has updated its master plan, known as the Experience Downtown Master Plan, and is actively working to achieve the nine goals and 36 primary actions identified in the plan. Efforts are under way to better align Colorado Springs Utilities infrastructure upgrades with incoming projects and public improvements, align publicly funded streetscape with new development and new businesses, and address policies at a local level in order to level the playing field for infill development, which in many cases is more challenging and costlier than developing in greenfield areas. Colorado Springs is invested in seeing growth in its core and is committed to improving the conditions for developing infill projects.
These efforts have had significant impact on easing the burden for new developments in the core. Several recent projects have been successfully approved administratively, including the 10-story, 167-room Hilton Garden Inn and the five-story, 172-unit 333ECO apartments, among other smaller projects. Downtown Partnership staff is well acquainted with the processes, programs and staff at the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities, Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, and other private or quasi-governmental organizations involved in the development process; we are committed to making the process clear and easy to navigate.
Building in Downtown positions your project for an assortment of incentives and opportunities not available in other parts of the region. These incentives are targeted towards leveling the cost differential between building urban infill and building in those parts of the city with lower land and development costs. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is available on property taxes within the Downtown Development Authority boundaries. Most of Downtown lies within a federal Economic Opportunity Zone, as well as a local Economic Opportunity Zone that provide access to unique financial support and technical assistance.