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.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Office fashion or faux pas?

Our Business article about dressing in the workplace (7/24/06, Clothes Case) generated a lot of response, primarily from female readers and primarily complaining about the "before" and "after" office attire photographs.

"Were the photos flopped?" one caller asked.

"Is this a joke?" another wondered.

"I'm embarrassed for this model -- did she consent to this?" another asked.

Some were less polite.

"I would not hire (this image consultant) to outfit my dogs!!!! She has about as much fashion sense as a first grader," one reader e-mailed me.

At issue appears to be the length of the pants and the jacket sleeves in the "after" shot. The pantsuit was off the rack at Stein Mart.

The illustration was intended to show how the "after" outfit is more figure flattering and slimming, makes the executive look younger and says "professional" rather than "matronly."

Image consultant Tia Warren's response to all the hullabaloo?

"I could dress the woman in a potato sack for the "before" shot and some people would say they liked it better than the "after" picture."

See the story and photos here:

JA exec gets award

Robin H. Wise, president of Junior Achievement -- Rocky Mountain Inc., has received the nonprofit organization's 2006 Charles R. Hook award that recognizes chief staff officers who promote the growth and development of the organization in their local community

The Rocky Mountain Inc. affiliate of JA covers Denver and northern Colorado. JA worldwide programs teach business and economics to students in grades kindergarten through 12th.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Majority of workers have no preference about gender of boss

According to a Vault Inc. Workplace Survey, women prefer to work for a male boss rather than another woman. When asked if they would prefer a male or female boss, 28 percent of the women picked a male boss rather than a female boss, though the majority of both the men and women surveyed had no preference. The survey is comprised of 518 responses from employees representing a variety of industries across the country, and is made up of 52 percent women and 48 percent men. More men would rather work for a man than a woman as well; 26 percent of men chose a male boss and 8 percent picked a female boss.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

RealTime Shredding expands into Texas

RealTime Shredding of Colorado Springs, developer of the first self-service kiosk to help consumers and businesses fight identity theft, has made its first stab at expanding outside of the state. They have installed two kiosks in Amarillo, Texas, at an RV park and in the Boys Ranch School System, said Amanda Verrie, RealTime Shredding president. The family-owned business placed its first kiosk at Chapel Hills Mall last September and has since added units in Denver, Fort Collins and in two additional locations in Colorado Springs.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Apartment rents down -- or not

RealFacts, a California research company that tracks the nation's apartment industry, says Colorado Springs was the only city in a recent survey of 29 major metropolitan areas in the western United States that showed a decline in average monthly apartment rents over the past year. Its survey suggests average monthly rents in the Springs are now $708, down 0.4 percent from last year. That figure contrasts with a survey from local commercial real estate broker Doug Carter, whose June survey estimated local monthly rents were averaging $626, a 3.5 percent jump from a year ago. RealFacts and Carter, however, were on par when it comes to apartment occupancies; both suggested occupancy levels increased by about 3 percent this year over 2005.