Jul 14, 2010 7:06 PM by Zach Thaxton
Two huge construction projects off Interquest Parkway near I-25 in northern Colorado Springs appear to be moving along very slowly, if at all.
Colorado Crossing, a mixed-use retail, entertainment, and office complex southeast of the intersection of State Highway 83 and Voyager Parkway, has been stalled for months after the developers, SRKO Family Limited Partnership, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. Exterior shells of the sprawling complex on 153 acres of prime property across from New Life Church were erected long ago, but virtually no interior work has been completed and most tools and heavy construction equipment have been removed from the site. Dozens of contractors and subcontractors have filed liens on the developers. El Paso County Assessor Mark Lowderman says no part of the Colorado Crossing project is more than 40 percent finished, even though a sign on the property boasts that the anchor tenant, Cinemark Theaters, would be "Opening Fall 2008." Lowderman says the project likely collapsed due to a series of factors. Another cinema complex opened a quarter-mile away, the project was largely funded out-of-pocket by developer Jannie Richardson at the same time the economy went sour, lenders tightened their purse strings, and tenants got shy about committing to long-term leases. The snowball effect financially crippled Richardson, SRKO, and any hopes the project would be finished on time, if at all. Perhaps a sign of the lack of confidence that the project will gain traction anytime soon: utility crews have removed the stoplight along Voyager Parkway at Colorado Crossing's west entrance. Until this week, the light had only flashed yellow signals at traffic on Voyager Parkway. There is still no estimated completion date for Colorado Crossing.
Meanwhile, a Summer 2011 opening is still slated for the Renaissance Colorado Springs Hotel, Spa, and Conference Center, a 300-room hotel complex on Federal Drive and prominently visible from I-25. The hotel's web site boasts that, when finished, the facility will have 50,000 square feet of flexible event space. As of now, the road to the hotel is blocked off, "No Trespassing" signs encircle the facility, entryways are boarded off, and a sign warns that alarms will sound if intruders try to gain entry. "Conference center anchored lodging facilities seem to be doing pretty well right now. I think it would be an addition to the north part of town once it comes online," says Lowderman, but he continued, "I'm not sure what niche they're after, but I would hope they'd have that lined up before they started construction."