EDITORíS DESK: Roundhouse project no train wreck

       Congratulations appear to be in order on the just-approved plans for the Roundhouse commercial center. The Griffis/ Blessing development company and the YOW architectural firm - two of the city's most respected outfits in the construction field - came up with sensitive plans for a retail center that could rival Old Colorado City in historic charm. They also showed old-fashioned consideration in realigning the Phase 3 building in response to Ghost Town's concerns about visibility from the highway.
       Then there are the Colorado Springs city staffers, who are more accustomed to hearing grumbles from the public than praise. They exhibited diligent flexibility in seeking ways to make the traffic flow work. It's easy to forget that in the roundhouse's heyday, that whole area was just a big train yard. Nobody dreamed of a time when the tracks would be gone and major roads would run within a few feet of the building's old stone walls and getting in and out of the place might actually be a problem.
       And then there's Van Briggle Pottery, which set this whole redevelopment plan in motion and is now exiting stage left, so to speak, after all these years as a Westside institution. Ironically, renovating the property creates a situation where its highest and best use is no longer the fine works in clay that the pottery manufactures. It was a business decision, of course, based to a large extent on unfortunately lagging sales. Still, we owe Van Briggle a thank-you for not just cutting and running but contracting with companies who would do this project right.
       So what now? Why, wait and see the finished product. I don't think I'm alone in looking forward to those glassed archways, among other things.

- K.J.