Downtown Colorado Springs, CO

For this evaluation I used the stream/bike trail as the northern border, Wahsatch Ave as the eastern, Monument Creek as the western, and Dwtn (Unitah) as the southern border.

Old North End was developed for middle and upper-class people in the late-nineteenth century. Much of this architecture is preserved in a historic district characterized by Spanish Colonial Revival, Georgian Revival, and Mission architecture styles. The bulk of the neighborhood’s growth came between 1890 and 1910 largely due to the success of the gold mines in Cripple Creek and Victor and resulting industry in Colorado Springs.

From an urban perspective Old North End is a pleasant semi-walkable residential community with well shaded streets, great park and trail access, plenty of bike lanes, and convenient access to Dwtn. But due to a low-population density there is no cohesive business district and mixed-use development is largely elusive. Public transit also isn’t great here and walkable school options are limited. Along with densifying the district, I would also like to see a better infusion of diverse and affordable housing options.

Click here to view my Downtown Colorado Springs album on Flickr.

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Overall very consistent sidewalk and ADA infrastructure.
* Great gridded Dwtn.
* Great dedicated bike lane system connecting dwtn, inner city neighborhoods, and suburban areas. Also a decent dedicated bike station system covering Dwtn, areas close to Dwtn and Old Colorado City.
* Great economic diversity living dwtn and decent racial and generational diversity. High number of family households for a dwtn but so  amenities for kids.
* Decent school options including a public high school and middle school. A couple small private options too.
* Good amount of affordable housing Dwtn.
* Great parks Dwtn including the expansive Monument Valley Park with lots of trails and greenspace and America the Beautiful Park. Acadia Park functions as a decent Civic Heart hosts concerts, ice skating, a splash pad and is located right off Tejon St (Dwtn’s main drag). A couple other smaller parks dwtn too.
* Overall a very safe Dwtn some dead spaces in the western edge of Dwtn.
* Pretty good university presence with about 5-6K college students Dwtn btwn Colorado College, Pike Peak and a couple others.
* Even though there are a lot of dead spots and poor bldg massing dwtn, the streetscaping is pretty good, esp. along Tejon.
* Culturally a nice array of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Also a couple community theaters, a small movie house, several live music venues, art galleries & museums, and plenty of night clubs and a major performing arts center. Also several arenas Dwtn (i.e. hocky, baseball).
* Good # of jobs dwtn at around 25-30K.
* Good retail w/ Plenty of boutiques, consignments and clothing stores, plenty of gifts stores, a toy store, several bookstores, plenty of dessert stores & gyms, lots of salons & barber shops, a public library, dwtn post office, and tons of churches.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* So  density.
* Streets are generally too wide but few one way street Dwtn and lots of bike lanes.
* Public transit access is pretty limited in Colorado Springs. Decent service only exists Dwtn and to the north and east. Good transit connection at least from Dwtn to the airport.
* Rentals are pretty limited for a Dwtn area. Some 1-beds generally leasing in the low 1ks but a few luxury options too. Decent # of 2-beds leasing btwn the low 1ks-the mid 2ks. Few 3-beds leasing around 2K.
* Decent # of condos but on the pricey side. 1-beds sell btwn 300K-600K, 2-beds 400K-750K, decent # of 3-beds as some SF homes are available dwtn selling btwn 450K-800K. Even some  4 beds available.
* Rather bland and uninspiring skyline. Mostly short-medium sized square boxes from the 60s-90s.
* So  architecture with some nice historic buildings along mostly Tejon street and a nice historic district on the northern edge.
* Dwtn has its share of dead spots especially the western edge, but decent vibrancy along Tejon. Lots of surface parking, auto centric uses and 1 story manufacturing bldgs along the western edge of Dwtn.
* No major convention center dwtn.
* No supermarket nor drug store. The nearest hospital is also a couple miles away.

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