Copper Ridge to welcome shops, prepare for more

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Four years after the initiation of developer Gary Erickson’s grand plan for urban renewal, Copper Ridge at Northgate is still plugging along.

Three new businesses are scheduled to open next month at the mixed-use development on the northernmost edge of Colorado Springs, east of the Air Force Academy and Interstate 25, and more will continue to break ground with plans to open later this year, Erickson said.

He said Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Interstate Battery and an Orange Leaf frozen yogurt franchise are gearing up to open “in the next few weeks.” Those businesses will be located side-by-side near the development’s north entrance from Northgate Boulevard.

The timelines for the dozen or so verified tenants are roughly the same as last reported by the Business Journal in January.

The developer and other investors are also continuing negotiations with other potential big-box stores to add to sole anchor Bass Pro Shops.

A groundbreaking is scheduled for April 26 for the Magnum Shooting Center, which currently has around 900 members “signed up and excited to get it open,” Erickson said.

“We’re really excited about that,” he said of the shooting center. “Nine hundred members is pretty good before even having a shovel in the ground.”

The 30,000-square-foot ,all-indoor firearms range, which Erickson called a “state-of-the-art facility,” will feature 500-yard rifle ranges. Anticipated to open in the summer, the Magnum Shooting Center is adjacent to firearms dealer Bass Pro Shops.

Other openings

The developer expects CB & Potts to break ground within 30 days for an 8,000-square-foot restaurant and sports bar, part of the popular Front Range chain with locations in the Denver area and Fort Collins.

Erickson said that a Loaf ‘N Jug convenience store is on a similar timeline to opening.

“We have close to 15 letters of intent for fast-food restaurants and other things,” he said.

“And we’re trying to get the hotel packaged up and submitted to the city in the next 60 days.”

A 400-room hotel project called the Colorado Grand Resort and Hotel is in its architectural phase, and groundbreaking is scheduled to begin sometime in the fall.

Plans for that resort, of which Erickson is also an investor, include a 70,000-square-foot indoor water park.

Bass Pro Shops and Bourbon Brothers resuraurant have been “knocking it out of the ballpark,” he said, and those businesses have piqued the interests of many companies now under contract or who have sent letters of intent.

Among the other businesses and restaurants planning to open at the 200-acre urban renewal area are Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers, Baldwin Liquors, an unnamed sushi bar and a seafood chophouse under the same ownership as Bourbon Brothers.

More tenants coming

Erickson said four more tenants have signed contracts to set up shop at Copper Ridge, but he is not yet ready to announce their names.

Also in the works are plans to increase accessibility to the mixed-use complex by extending the Powers Boulevard corridor from Colorado Highway 83 to Interstate 25. The project, which was created through an arrangement with the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority, has not yet begun and is on no definite timeline, according to CSURA Director Jim Rees.

The Powers extension project will be funded over the next 25 years via a 1 percent annual sales tax increment of Copper Ridge revenue, an arrangement that passed Colorado Springs City Council by an 8-1 vote on Oct. 22.