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Penrose-St. Francis proposes major hospital campus at Fillmore and Centennial

       An application to allow a major hospital complex northeast of Fillmore Street and Centennial Boulevard has been submitted to the city for Penrose-St. Francis Health Services.
       The main building would stand 11 or 12 stories high (close to 200 feet in height), according to a proposed concept plan. Also envisioned by the long-time local health entity are two office buildings, each about 65 feet tall. The buildings combined would take up about 8.4 acres of the 51-acre property,
A concept plan shows the proposed Penrose-St. Francis Health Services campus northeast of Fillmore Street and Centennial Boulevard. The area shown as "PBC Zone District" at lower left is the Grandview Market Place shopping center anchored by King Soopers. North of that, also on the west side of Centennial, are office buildings, mostly medical in nature. The "landscape zones" shown on the proposed hospital site are intended to buffer it from existing uses to the north (homes) and east and south (industrial).
Courtesy of RTA Architects
with the remainder consisting of off-street parking (24.3 acres) and a landscaping zone (18.2 acres).
       The facility would become Penrose-St. Francis' third hospital “campus” in Colorado Springs.
       The desired site, located across Centennial from the Grandview Market Place shopping center, is currently open land. It is owned by Turtle Creek Grandview Office LLC, which is technically the applicant on the hospital proposal, in conjunction with the RTA Architects firm.
       Chris Valentine, a Penrose-St. Francis spokesperson, cautioned in an interview that the deal is far from final. “We have not purchased any property,” he noted. “This is one of a couple of properties we're looking at. If it doesn't work out, we may go to Plan B. But we started with a site we really like.”
       Steve Tuck, the city planner assigned to the project, said June 29 that because the proposal was “only recently submitted,” he can't say for certain if there are any show-stoppers but “no major issues were initially identified.”
       Valentine said the main reason why Penrose-St. Francis prefers the Fillmore/Centennial location is its proximity to I-25. Adding to this appeal are the 2013 Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority project to improve Fillmore's traffic flow near the interchange and the current Colorado Department of Transportation project to replace the interchange itself, he said.
       Because the hospital proposal includes a rezoning request, the matter will need to go to City Council at some point, in addition to a meeting of the Planning Commission.
       The proposal actually consists of three main requests:
       - An amendment to the Hill Properties (Garden of the Gods Club) Master Plan, which encompasses a roughly 2-by-3-mile area of the Mesa. The master plan currently suggests the location as a future “commercial center.” The amendment would allow for hospital and office uses, which a six-page Project Description document, included with the Penrose-St. Francis submittal, defines as “consistent” with commercial uses.
       - A rezoning to designate the entire 51 acres as planned unit development (PUD). A PUD allows flexibility in projects, which for this project would include allowing a 200-foot building height, allowing the proposed uses and helping “transition” what's essentially an infill site from neighboring commercial, industrial and multifamily residential properties, according to the Description and a Public Notice the city sent to addresses in the project's vicinity. The most prominent industrial use is a long-time asphalt batch plant, abutting the would-be hospital site to the east and south. The 51 acres had just been rezoned last fall by the Turtle Creek ownership - an action that reduced its own industrially zoned areas.
       - A concept plan, which identifies the types of envisioned uses (the hospital, the office buildings and landscape and parking zones). It shows the hospital structure on the property across from Grand Market Point, a public street that currently runs next to the shopping center and makes a T-intersection at a stoplight there. One of the 65-foot office buildings would be built south of the hospital, nearer the Fillmore/Centennial intersection, and the other would be north of it. In addition to Grand Market Point, the other access points would be one farther north on Centennial and another off Fillmore.
       The Description asserts that “the proposed development does not overburden the capacities of existing or planned streets, utilities and other public facilities,” adding that related studies (part of the application) support this contention.
       The two current Penrose-St. Francis campuses in Colorado Springs are Penrose Hospital, 2222 N. Nevada Ave.; and St. Francis Medical Center, 6001 E. Woodmen Road.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 6/29/15, updated 6/30/15; Land: Proposals)

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