NewsCovering Colorado


What could replace the Martin Drake Power Plant in Colorado Springs?

Posted at 7:18 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 15:04:56-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — In a couple of years, Colorado Springs will have a different skyline after the Martin Drake Power Plant is taken down. The plant is now set to retire Sept. 1 as Colorado Springs plans to get rid of all coal generation in their energy portfolio by 2030.

There are many different ideas for what the future of the location might look like after the plant is gone.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers floated ideas for a potential park, including possibly an area for kayaking, as well as commercial and residential real estate for the area. The projects would be long-term, happening over the next ten to fifteen years.

"We're trying to build a city that matches our scenery. Urban, coal-fired power plant is not consistent with that goal," said Mayor Suthers. "We're going to have a much prettier skyline going forward in the years ahead with the decommissioning of Drake."

James Africano is the owner of The Warehouse Restaurant in the south part of downtown Colorado Springs. The restaurant has been there for almost 27 years and Africano recalls the power plant as a familiar sight downtown for many years.

"In a way sad to see it go, but it also it's time to move on and do something different."

He said anything new coming to the south of downtown is a win for his business.

"We've been down here kind of on an island as a retail space at the south end of downtown. So to have some other things happening down here... we're excited," he said.

Mayor Suthers said in the coming years there will be an environmental study on the amount of ground contamination left over from the plant, which will determine what new development is fit for the land. He said if the contamination runs deep, the land wouldn't be fit for constructing new buildings and a park may be more reasonable in that case.

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