Retailers flock to Fountain

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Pikes Peak Aviation, a Colorado Springs firm, is set to build a shopping center/office complex on 39 prime acres near Fountain.

The unnamed shopping center, approximately 300,000 square feet, will be located at the intersection of the Powers Boulevard extension — to be complete within 10 years — and Interstate 25, between the cities of Fountain and Security-Widefield.

Many large retailers, which would serve as the center’s anchor stores, have expressed interest in positioning themselves in this rapidly growing area. "Big Box" retailers also will be a draw for the center. These are retailers like Circuit City and Home Depot, which typically anchor such centers.

The center will be one-half mile from Highway 85-87, only 1 mile from I-25.

The center’s location is 2 miles from Fort Carson, where more than 25,000 people reside, and the new airport will be a short 7 miles away.

Principals in the Pikes Peak Aviation group decided to build at the site when they noticed the poor access available to residents of Fountain to the major retailers in the area.

The group noticed most retail stores in the area, with the exception of the Widefield Mall, are on the west side of the Santa Fe-Rio Grande Railroad, including Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and grocery stores. At various times during the day, the intersections are closed to accommodate the bustling railroad cars. With the location of the new center on the east side of the railroad, access will be much easier.

Approximately 800 acres, owned by Neron Corp., are directly adjacent to the property where the new center will be. Representatives from both Neron and Pikes Peak Aviation are exploring the possibilities of starting their own township, strictly as a cost-saving measure to include lower sales tax.

Fountain’s growth rate has been staggering, with statistics showing the city’s population leaping by more than 3,000 people, or 30%, between 1990 and 1995.

The expected cost for the center, which will break ground this spring, is estimated to be $35 million.