Monday, September 17, 2007

City officials agree: Lowe's needs its space(s)

A Colorado Springs City Council decision to snip 13 parking spaces out of a 500-space Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse parking lot was nearly bad luck for developers of the University Village shopping center on North Nevada Avenue. When council members approved the University Village plans in July, they deleted the 13 spaces because of safety concerns; city staffers feared cars would back out of the spaces into oncoming traffic or endanger shoppers heading into and out of the store's garden center. Thirteen spaces might not seek like a big deal, but they were to Lowe's. The company was unhappy and argued its business plan requires a certain number of spaces. Also, the store already had given up parking areas to accommodate shopping center setbacks, traffic circulation and other users. On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the council reversed itself and approved a revised plan hammered out by city staffers, the developer and Lowe's; the new plan altered landscaping and traffic patterns to create more room for cars backing out of the 13 spaces. "This is a good example of the public and private sectors getting together for mutual benefits and for a good decision and a good resolution," said Kevin Kratt, University Village's developer. The shopping center, where Costco Wholesale Club also will build a store, is a cornerstone of a North Nevada redevelopment project, from Garden of the Gods Road to Interstate 25. Costco and Lowe's likely will start construction in early 2008, with completion in 2009.

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