North Nevada Avenue has come a long way. In fact, it has been a mini boomtown between Garden of the Gods Boulevard and Interstate 25 since the area’s rundown motels earned it designation as an urban renewal site in 2004. University Village Colorado made a retail splash when it brought Costco and other big-box retailers in 2009—and the much-celebrated addition of Trader Joe’s in 2014. But it’s the actual university—University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS)—that’s driving the current building boom.
UCCS is the fastest growing campus in the University of Colorado system, and its student body is expected to swell from its current 11,300 to 13,000 or 14,000 by 2020. With more and more of those students living on campus at the once commuter-only school, the university is expected to spend $228 million on facilities from 2014 to 2018. Here’s a snapshot of some of what’s going on now beneath those towering cranes.
ON THE UCCS CAMPUS
1. Village at Alpine Valley
The $74.5 million complex on the west side of campus will add one- to four-
bedroom suite-style housing for 515 students, along with a new dining complex and academic space. Grand opening is scheduled for August 2016.
2. ENT Center for the Arts
The 92,000 square-foot arts hub will house multiple performances spaces. The largest will seat 736 to 786; the flexible arrangement of the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater will seat about 250. Watch for completion in 2018.
3. Recreation and Wellness Center
Just opened in January, this 47,605-square-foot addition houses fitness and workout space and a new Student Wellness Center that integrates recreation, health, counseling, nutrition and wellness promotion.
AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD
4. UCHealth Hospital
The new 22-bed community hospital is scheduled for a summer 2016 opening. The 86,000-square-foot facility will include three surgical suites and intensive care services. Watch for an official name closer to opening.
5623 Pulpit Peak View, uchealth.org
5. Cowboy Star & Butcher Shop
The original Cowboy Star is an award-winner in San Diego, but don’t call this second iteration a chain. Reclaimed wood from the Waldo Canyon fire, locally-sourced meats butchered on-site and local beers on tap make this new taste of the West fit the Springs like a stylish favorite pair of jeans.
5198 N. Nevada Ave., cowboystarcs.com
6. Colorado Running Company
The local specialty running store has a full calendar of social runs, including the University Running Club on Mondays along the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail.
5262 N. Nevada Ave., Suite 140, corunco.com
7. Jives Coffee
The artsy, steampunk-themed coffee enclave features live music and a steady stream of students on laptops. Take your White Tiger—signature white espresso—to the front patio for sunny Peak views or cozy up inside among the vibrant art on snowy days.
5865 N. Nevada Ave., jivescoffeelounge.com
8. Pulpit Rock and Austin Bluffs Open Space
The short hike—about 1 mile—to the top of Pulpit Rock’s towering sandstone cliffs is a must-do. Sweeping vistas and surprising solitude on the approach deliver a quick hit of nature therapy while the entire city bustles below.
Trailhead and parking just north of the businesses as N. Nevada parallels I-25,
9. The Lodges
Apartments targeting students are popping up all around UCCS. The five-story Lodges complex is flush with amenities including a heated pool, fitness areas, game rooms, sauna and walkout access to Austin Bluffs Open Space. Ah, the student life.
5877 N. Nevada Ave., thelodgesofcoloradosprings.com
10. University Park
Sitting on the mesa to the east of Austin Bluffs Open Space, University Park is the area’s high-dollar neighborhood with a 2015 average home sale price of $479,757, according to data from the Pikes Peak Realtor Services Corp.
11. Pulpit Rock/Erindale
The Pulpit Rock and Erindale neighborhoods to the north and east can offer some similar views in a more affordable, brisker resale market. Their average sale price for 2015 was $263,111.