Colorado Springs Communities Offer Something for Everyone
On the western edge of Colorado Springs, in the foothills, is a private sanctuary encompassing 900 acres of land. Bordered by Garden of the Gods and the Pikes National Forest, Cedar Heights is only 10-15 minutes away from downtown Colorado Springs but projects a much different feeling to the residents who live there.
Kathy Bohanon has lived in this community for 15 years. She says the 24-hour manned security gate was a major plus when she first looked at homes but seeing the stars at night and the lights of the city are what remind her every day that she lives in a truly unique place. “You feel like you are up in the mountains and away from the city,” she says. “We have our own 300-acre open space for walking and hiking and I can walk to the national forest from my home.”
While the city views are spectacular from their vantage point, many of the residents also comment on the awe-inspiring views of Pikes Peak to the west.
The development offers larger home sites for custom and semi-custom homes through a variety of builders, although the homeowners association has architectural controls to ensure the community maintains a cohesive look.
Nestled at the base of Cheyenne Mountain is the Broadmoor neighborhood and Count Pourtales area. Both have roots back to the 1880s and ties to notable names such as Penrose, Pourtales and Marland. Along with the history, this area is interesting and desirable because of the large, flat lots, varied architecture and sense of community.
Jim Johnson is a long-time resident and lives in the home that has been in his family for years. He says the longevity of the residents is a defining factor in the attraction to the neighborhood. “Usually when people move in they stay for a long time,” Johnson says. “Everyone takes care of their properties and we like having The Broadmoor as a neighbor for security and the upkeep of their grounds.”
The Cheyenne Mountain Country Club also plays a part in the history of the area. It was established in 1891 to attract people to the sporting life and remains a focal point along Lake Avenue. Pourtales Park is a preserved open space that also pays homage to Count James Pourtales, a German nobleman who had the vision to develop the 2,500 acres of land that make up this notable neighborhood.
When developers acquired the 1,500 acres of land that is now Flying Horse, their vision was to create a mostly residential neighborhood associated with resort living. Their mission was to develop the resort amenities as the neighborhoods were getting started so prospective residents could actually see the value in living there. So in 2004, three local homebuilders set up shop to begin construction of homes. In 2005, a Tom Weiskopf Championship golf course was built followed by the fitness center in 2006 and the clubhouse in 2007. A District-20 K-12 campus also was part of the early planning and is now thriving as Discovery Canyon.
“This was a thoughtful development with well-planned amenities,” says Doug Stimple, chief executive officer of Classic Companies. “We have three community parks, walking trails and we’ve improved the infrastructure around Flying Horse.”
Future plans include The Lodge at Flying Horse, scheduled for completion in October 2015. The boutique hotel will have 40 rooms and conference facilities as well as access to the golf, fitness and dining available at The Club at Flying Horse. There are also 8 villas that can be reserved and are available now.
“This is a community that has been built to last and have sustainable value so homeowners are comfortable making that investment,” Stimple says.
Gold Hill Mesa
With 210 acres to work with, the developers of Gold Hill Mesa had a prime opportunity to create a vibrant, master-planned community with easy access to Interstate-25 and the mountains, 360-degree views and amenities for all age groups.
Today, the vision is more than taking shape. With 266 homes built, they are about halfway to the full build out of the residential area. They have successfully preserved 20 percent of the land for shared green streets, pocket parks and courtyards. And those who live there absolutely love it.
“Our neighborhood was designed to be walk-able so it is laid out on a grid system,” says Vice President of Gold Hill Mesa Stephanie Edwards. “Our homes have front porches and alley-loaded garages to take advantage of outdoor living spaces and to create a sense of community.”
The neighborhood has a community center with fitness facilities and mailroom. The development holds numerous activities throughout the year for the residents but the summer concert series in the community park is by far the most popular, according to Edwards.
And in this community, 70 percent of the residents have dogs so developers have embraced that statistic by installing dog watering stations and cleanup bag holders.
A 100-acre commercial development bordering Highway 24 along Fountain Creek is planned.
Old North End
Marking what used to be the center of town is the Old North End, an enclave of historic homes along tree-lined streets with interesting architecture.
Bob Sullivan, president of the Old North End Neighborhood Board of Directors, says the traditional neighborhood fosters a sense a community. “Most of the homes have front porches which naturally encourage people to meet their neighbors,” he says. “And we have a variety of activities throughout the year to gather people together.”
The youngest of the Old North End residents participate in a bike decorating contest and parade for the 4th of July each year. Adults enjoy the annual garden party held at someone’s home to show off their beautiful gardens, and young and old alike enjoy the holiday caroling activities.
The homeowners association is very active in helping residents learn about the history of their homes and holds workshops to help with the effort. They also purchase trees each year to replace those that have reached their end of life, particularly along the streets. And even the canine residents are honored with a “Dog of the Year” contest.
“We have a rich history and our mission is to help preserve that history and maintain the quality of the neighborhood,” Sullivan says.