GUEST COLUMN:
New tack on Goodwill site

       The Westside Pioneer was copied on the following letter to local officials by Welling Clark.
      
       Honorable City Council and Mayor of Colorado Springs:

A rendering by Rexroad APG, a private planning firm, shows a potential redevelopment of for the south side of Colorado Avenue's 2300 block. Owned by Goodwill, the land had been under contract to Kum & Go.
Courtesy of Rexroad APG and Welling Clark

       As president of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), I regularly apprise you of events occurring in the Westside Neighborhood Strategy Area. I have some new information to provide you about Westside efforts regarding the Goodwill property on the south side of West Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 24th streets. I have concurrence from local residents and businesses that it is time for us to change course, and to proceed together on a new path forward.
       Westside actions underway:
  • We have updated the petition website and Facebook pages to reflect the change in our efforts, to provide maximum outreach to the community.
  • We have encouraged everyone to write to Kum & Go to express their thanks for respecting the neighborhood and its history, and for withdrawing early, gracefully and honorably.
  • We have encouraged everyone to write to the City Council, Planning Depart-ment and mayor to express their thanks for listening so closely to all sides of the issues.
  • We have asked all Westsiders to remain active with us in identifying and supporting an alternative proposal. Possible future activities could include:
           - Attending briefings and focus groups.
           - Identifying neighborhood-friendly characteristics in advance.
           - Reviewing potential developer projects for compatibility and harmony.
           - Staying in a “ready reserve” status to support new efforts.
           Westside intentions for the future:
  • To offer unstinting help to Goodwill wherever, whenever, and however we can.
  • To work even harder in support of a compatible and harmonious alternative proposal than we did in opposition to the withdrawn proposal.
  • To create a synergistic gateway project on the east side of the Old Colorado City commercial district.
           Westside involvement, at Goodwill's request:
  • Seeking potential developers and potential tenants through our “network effect.”
  • Researching potential city and county business incentives for redevelopment, to facilitate the sale of the property.
           There are many stakeholders in this effort, including Westsiders who want a gateway to the east side of Old Colorado City, developers who want an unimpeded and remunerative project, Goodwill that wants a fair price for its surplus property, and the city that wants to realize property and other tax revenues. We stand ready to help strike a deal that satisfies all of them.

           At the direction of the OWN Board,
    Welling Clark