Retail, homes, apartments still on horizon for Fountain areas

 

Last updated 1/11/2022 at 2:37pm



As building totals for both new residential and commercial projects skyrocketed around the Pikes Peak region last year, a few projects anticipated in the Fountain area have yet to break ground.

The memorable demolition in April 2020 of the former Fountain Valley Shopping Center on Hwy. 85/87 was supposed to pave the way for new retail developments along the frontage and single-family homes to the rear.

The property has sat largely unaltered since that time, with no discernable activity. However, a number of planning efforts have continued all the while. The property is comprised of both Fountain and unincorporated El Paso County, so both entities have certain components of the site plans, engineering, drainage and other elements to approve.

Final plat approvals by El Paso County were recorded as recently as December 2021. Due to the complexity of the property, many entities have to work together, including Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), which controls the Main Street/Hwy. 85-87 intersection.


“They are currently working on the design and engineered plans for the extension of Main Street,” Fountain Planning Director Kristy Martinez said.

Main Street will be extended all the way through the development into the future residential area.

One holdup is how long it may take to obtain materials to build the substation – a supply issue facing more and more businesses and governments.

Commercial developers plan to construct roughly 97,000 square feet of retail building space on separate pads over three phases, while a separate housing development of 200-plus single-family homes is expected on the rear. The commercial site, known as Riverbend Crossing, lies within Fountain's city boundaries; the residential area is in El Paso County.

According to previous proposals submitted by the housing developer, the residential portion could look like 225 single-family homes equaling a proposed density of 4.33 dwelling units per acre. The development will consist of one- and two-story detached homes and approximately 14 acres of open space/common areas providing public and private recreational opportunities.

The homes would be serviced by Security Water and Sanitation District for water and sewer; Colorado Springs Utilities for gas and electric; CenturyLink for phone; Security Fire Protection; El Paso County Sheriff's Office; and Widefield School District 3.

No timeline for the new construction has been provided yet, but the commercial and residential portions likely will occur simultaneously, albeit by different contractors.

The entire new development is managed by the Riverbend Crossing Business Improvement District.

A large apartment complex along Mesa Ridge Parkway called Garrison by Watermark project is still moving forward.

“They are currently working on their subdivision documents for submittal and review,” Martinez said.

Last April, the council gave final approval to a rezoning request for 17.4 acres at Mesa Ridge Parkway west of Walgreens and Black Bear Diner, which is expected to become a 336-unit apartment complex. It was rezoned from Regional Commercial District to Multi-Family (MF) District.

At one of those meetings, a representative of Watermark showed several slides of similar apartment projects the company has completed around the county, noting it would boast plenty of on-site amenities, in-unit laundry, stainless steel appliances, fitness centers, playgrounds, a swimming pool and more.

The three-story buildings would include apartments ranging in size from one to three bedrooms, Tuttle said.

The company had said it hoped to start in the fall, with the overall project taking a couple of years to complete. Once plans are submitted and approved, activity on the site could begin soon.

 

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