Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cliff House expansion approved by Historic Preservation Commission

The Manitou Springs Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday approved the Cliff House’s proposed $15 million expansion around the historic Wheeler House by a 5-2 vote. The expansion will go before the city council on Aug. 26.

"This puts us in a position to go to city council in pretty good shape," said Paul York, general manager for the Cliff House.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Texas Roadhouse to the rescue

Those Bennigan's gift cards are worth something after all.

The restaurant chain filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection last week and said all company owned stores were closing. That included two locations in Colorado Springs. Those customers stuck with Bennigan's gift cards, though, can now exchange them at Texas Roadhouse restaurants for a free entrée certificate. The offer expires August 30.

Texas Roadhouse offered a similar program after Roadhouse Grill filed for bankruptcy.

Banning Lewis Ranch rec center honored

The Northtree Ranch House (right), the first recreation center constructed in the massive Banning Lewis Ranch development that makes up most of Colorado Springs' east side, was recently honored as a 2008 Gold Nugget award recipient in the category of Best Public/Private Recreational Use Facility. The Gold Nugget awards, sponsored by the Pacific Coast Builders Conference trade association, have been given out annually since 1963 and recognize architectural excellence in design and land use planning for residential, commercial and industrial projects. The 7,500-square-foot Northree Ranch House serves residents in Northree, the first residential area being developed in the more than 21,000-acre Banning Lewis Ranch, southeast of Woodmen and Marksheffel roads. The Northtree Ranch House recreation center was designed by Danielian Associates of Irvine, Calif., and built by Golden Triangle Construction of Colorado Springs. “It’s an attractive, club-like setting,” said John Cassiani, vice president of project operations for the Banning Lewis Ranch development. “This facility is much more than a rec center, it’s a community gathering spot with fresh design and modern comforts set against the backdrop of Pikes Peak and the front range.” Northtree, which covers 321 acres and which will have more than 1,000 homes, opened in September 2007. More information:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Michael Garman gallery to close, end production

Colorado Springs will lose an institution in November when the Michael Garman Gallery and Michael Garman Productions go out of business.

Garman turned his aptitude for sculpture into a mass-production business that made him as much a businessman as an artist, and his Magic Town diorama in Old Colorado City grew into a local tourist attraction.

Garman's health has been bad, store manager Jennifer Rohlfs said.

"He's ready to enjoy the last few years of his life without the stress of the company," she said. "We're not happy about it, but it's something that can't be avoided."

Michael Garman Productions announced the closing to its retailers in July. Rohlfs said that the company would continue producing sculptures through Nov. 1, then sell off the remaining stock into next year.

New medical office building opens

NorthCare at St. Francis, an 80,000-square-foot, physician-owned medical office building linked via a skybridge to the new St. Francis Medical Center, opens today, Aug. 4.

Many of the tenants are relocating to the new hospital campus at Woodmen Road and Powers Boulevard from the area surrounding Penrose Community Hospital on North Academy Boulevard. That hospital is closing Aug. 16, the day St. Francis Medical Center opens.

Tenants in the new building include Pikes Peak Urology, Walgreens, Women’s Surgical Center, Davita Dialysis, Mountain View Medical Group Pediatric Specialists and numerous others.

The building was developed by NorthCare LLC, headed by local physician Dr. Kevin Weary and Michael Heritage of The London Real Estate Group. It is 85 percent leased, Heritage said.