Downtown High Rise in the Works

If you think Colorado Springs' skyline is a little lacking just wait. It could be getting taller.

The Downtown Action Plan restricts buildings to 14 stories, but that rule will likely change to make room for the city’s first new high rise in years.

If a plan underway continues, downtown will start inching upward.

When you hit downtown, you know you're there...the parking is metered. The buildings are taller. It's downtown.

The Wells Fargo building stacks in at 14 stories. It helps make up a comparably modest skyline, but that skyline is about to get bigger.

"It's ready to take the next step," said architect Doug Comstock.

The next step is the Cooper Tower. It’s a 25 story four-in-one giant slated to go in at Kiowa and Nevada. The building sandwiches office space and a hotel in-between shopping on the bottom floors and high rise condos at the top.

"We already have people wanting to buy them," said Comstock, president of Comstock and Associates, the firm set to build the tower.

He calls it a landmark project that brings a current national building trend to the metro area...which he thinks is changing to support a complex this big.

"Downtown in the last 10 years has become a vital night time activity place, which it wasn't...you used to be able to roll up the sidewalks," he said.

The tower has more stories, but just how tall is it? To get an idea, look at the Wells Fargo building downtown and add 50 feet to the top.

"I think it's a shot in the arm for downtown," said City Councilman Jerry Heimlicher.

If the new building goes in, Heimlicher says it will help pay to refurbish the old City Auditorium and push urban development forward.

"It'll definitely change the skyline, no doubt about that," he said.

City planners have the Cooper Tower proposal in hand, which includes an amendment to the current height restriction. They tell 11 news it’s close to approval.

If all goes according to plan, construction could start next year, and the door would be open for taller buildings like it in the future.


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