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South Nevada Ave. renewal continues in Colorado Springs

The next phase of an urban renewal project at the south end of Nevada Avenue in Colorado Springs is starting to become more visible.

Large trees have been cut down and many old buildings, homes and apartment buildings have been demolished to make room for future shops, restaurants and other businesses similar to those that have already opened recently.

A creek walk along nearby Cheyenne Creek is part of the plan, as well several apartment buildings and townhomes.

Christian Jennings, who lives a few blocks from the construction zone, said he’s glad the area is being revitalized.

“It’s been needed for a long time,” he said. “We’ll just have to put up with noise and traffic until the project is finished.”

The project encompasses several blocks in an area bordered by Nevada Avenue, Cheyenne Road, Mount Washington Avenue and Saint Elmo Avenue.
Urban Renewal officials were unavailable Tuesday to provide more details and a construction schedule.

While most neighbors support the project, others are concerned about how the area’s homeless population will be affected.

“It was a problem having so many homeless people hanging around in vacant lots and abandoned buildings,” said Michelle Jones, who moved to the neighborhood two years ago. “But where are they going to go now? A lot of poor people live here but the things they’re building are for richer people.”

Another neighbor, Zach Ethington, said he’s concerned that the new development will lead to higher rental costs at some nearby apartment complexes.

“They’ve already bought out some complexes near this one and torn them down,” he said. “The tenants were given six months to move out. I’m told my place is safe, but you never know. I’m all for progress but I don’t want to get priced out of my neighborhood.”

One of the few businesses still open in the area is Rich’s Home Designs. Owner Rich Schell has operated there since 2001 and said he’s not sure yet if he’ll sell or stay.

“I’m excited about what’s happening, but we’ll have to wait and see what’s the best decision for the investment we’ve made,” he said.

The project is in a key area with downtown to the north, the Ivywild neighborhood to the west and the Southgate area to the east.

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