A 45,000-square-foot building at 4425 Arrowswest Drive in the Garden of the Gods tech corridor has been purchased for the Space Foundation, ending a two-year quest for better office space and, it is hoped, attempts by other cities to lure the organization away.
The foundation will move into its new space May 1, after the 28th annual Space Symposium in April.
A combination of private and public money was used for the $960,000 purchase.
The El Pomar Foundation provided $385,000, while its Anna Keesling Ackerman fund made a $225,000 contribution. The state’s Office of Economic Development chipped in $350,000. The rest came from private sources.
El Paso County is considering buying part of the building, making sure all of the building space is used. The foundation has big plans for its new office – a museum, Space Technology Hall of Fame and more education space. But that’s going to take additional money, said Elliot Pulham, CEO of the Space Foundation.
“I think we’ll put about $3 million or $4 million more into it during the next two or three years,” he said. “We’re going to have to raise money for that as well, so that’s going to take up a lot of our staff’s time.”
The Space Foundation was started with help from El Pomar, which also helped move it into its current building at 310 S. 14th St. El Pomar could also help with its latest fund-raising effort, said El Pomar Chairman and CEO Bill Hybl.
“We’ve helped them get started 28 years ago,” he said, “and we haven’t ruled out helping them with their latest endeavors.”
The Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp. helped spearhead the effort for new office space.
President and CEO Mike Kazmierski said the group couldn’t allow the Space Foundation to be “wooed away” by other cities.
“This is one of our crown jewels, and I really mean that,” he told the crowd of about 60 people at the Penrose House for the announcement. “We couldn’t let it leave. We consider this one of our biggest retention successes – along with Fort Carson, the USOC.”