Friday, July 28, 2006

A towering project

Colorado Springs developer Ray O'Sullivan is moving ahead with his plans for a proposed 24-story residential, commercial and hotel tower on the downtown City Auditorium block, on the southeast corner of Kiowa Street and Nevada Avenue. The building would have 100 for-sale condominiums on upper floors; 250 hotel rooms on middle floors; and lower floors with 25,000 square feet of retail space, 30,000 square feet of for-sale office condominiums, 15,000 square feet of meeting space, indoor and outdoor pools and a spa. The building also would have four levels of underground parking. The building's look and feel, pictured in a rendering by Springs architect Doug Comstock, is intended to blend in with City Hall across the street and the next-door City Auditorium. Estimated cost: $125 million. Next up: Completion of a study by hospitality consultant HVS International of suburban New York City to gauge the hotel's potential success, and then reaching an agreement in the next month with a hotelier O'Sullivan described as an upper-end, four-star operator. He wouldn't identify the name. HVS did a similar study three years ago that endorsed the idea of a downtown Springs convention center and hotel. If all goes as planned, O'Sullivan said he hopes to begin construction in May or June of 2007, with completion in early 2009. The project's working name is Cooper Tower, but that name will change, O'Sullivan said.

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