Sale of Ivywild School marks a new era in cool

You know how, when you visit a new city, you look for the SPOT. Maybe it’s a neighborhood. Maybe it’s the heart of a downtown. Often it’s near a college.

It’s the place where you can park your car and walk to a bunch of cool restaurants, pubs, galleries and other fun things. Colorado Springs already has a few Spots. And soon it’ll get a new one:

Ivywild. The name itself is full of possibilities. The ivy speaks to tradition. But it’s also freakin wild.

Here’s a classic example of New Urbanism, drawn with fine point — taking a decommissioned school and turning it into something fabulous for the community and for out-of-town visitors.

About three years after Ivywild School closed, a partnership of three innovative Colorado Springs entrepreneurs have purchased the 96-year-old building and will soon transform it into a mixed-use center that will include a brewery, bakery and offices.

Here are excerpts from a Gazette news tory about it:

Ivywild School Inc., a company headed by Bristol Brewery owner Mike Bristol, Blue Star Restaurant owner Joe Coleman and architect Jim Fennell, paid $1.22 million Wednesday for the 27,000-square-foot building at 1604 S. Cascade Ave. Renovations and construction of a 12,000-square-foot addition to the building are set to begin Friday and are scheduled for completion in December, Bristol said.

“It feels great to get to this point and we are excited to get onto the next phase of actually building this project,” Bristol said after the deal was completed. “Even though there have been a lot of zigs and zags with this project, the city and community have supported this concept. It is now our responsibility to deliver.”

The $3.5 million project will be completed by Murphy Contractors and was financed with $2.7 million in loans from Central Bank of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Regional Development Corp. and $778,000 in loans through the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority, which last year declared the 5.1-acre school site an urban renewal area.

Read the rest of The Gazette story here.

We believe the Ivywild rennovation (really, a reimagination), will be just the first step in a process that will turn that south Tejon/Cascade corridor into the coolest spot in the city.

Stay tuned.