Our series on neighborhoods in Colorado Springs has been so much fun to write because every part of El Paso County has something new to discover. So far I’ve presented the whimsical attributes of the Westside, explored the quiet, luxurious neighborhoods of the Northwest, admired the New Urban neighborhoods of the Woodmen-Powers Corridor and enjoyed the Mid-Century vibe of the NorthCentral area.
This week we turn our attention to Downtown Colorado Springs and the Historic Old North End – both very exciting places to explore. They beautifully capture the essence of days gone by with stunning architecture built by our founding citizens, yet it merges perfectly with the up-and-coming modern, urban scene.
Downtown and the Old North End (ONEN) are where the past meets the present, blending into an unequaled union.
Usually, I would have included downtown and the Old North End in my review of Central Colorado Springs. However, this historic neighborhood deserves to stand out on its own.
I am mainly referring to the area EAST OF I-25, SOUTH OF FILLMORE, WEST OF EL PASO, AND NORTH OF LAS VEGAS/I-25. A small historical and concentrated area of the city. Within these borders you can find places like:
- Catalyst Campus
- Monument Valley Park (Between Nevada and Weber Street)
- America The Beautiful Park
- Santa Fe Trail
- Colorado College
- Pikes Peak Center
- The United States Olympic Committee
- Grace and St. Stephens Church
- Multiple museums
…among many other things that Downtown has to offer.
OLD NORTH END COLORADO SPRINGS
Walking or driving through the Old North End is like opening a story book. Each home has a narrative that represents history memorialized. One is transfixed by the beauty and character of the houses. Imagine yourself walking with your loved one and your pet along tree-lined streets and Victorian-era homes. It’s a lovely part of town. Large, magnificent residences, most of which have been painstakingly restored. Each home is unexpected and flavorful. No two homes are the same. This area boasts turn of the century mansions.
Built in the late 1800s through the 40s and 50s, the demand for these old homes is high. As a result, you can expect to pay $750k to 1M+. A few homes that are newer or need restoration can be acquired for half that price, but will need some elbow grease to return them to their original glory or receive an update (for those who desire a modern-vintage appeal).
Ideally situated in the Old North End is Colorado College, a highly acclaimed institution. Built in 1874, it has a rich heritage and is a source of pride for our community.
Several of the magnificent homes in the Old North End have been converted into housing for CC’s elite students.
Even if the Old North End is not within your price range, it is worth the time to drive or stroll through the canopy of trees that border the streets. On the west side, you will even find greenways with walking paths.
URBAN LIVING IN DOWNTOWN COLORADO SPRINGS
Obviously, the best place to find urban living via lofts and luxury apartments is in Downtown Colorado Springs. The conversion of downtown living into luxury accommodations was a slow progress, however, since the economy has regained traction in the last few years, the push to overhaul our downtown facade is in full force. Luxury apartment buildings are rising where old, decrepit buildings once stood. Modern and hip coffee shops and cafes are springing up so fast it makes your head spin. Bike lanes are being built, for instance, on the busy Fontanero Street. There is a new breath of life taking over downtown, and it is spilling out into the surrounding neighborhoods. However, be prepared to pay premium real estate prices for one of these lofts or condos downtown!
MIXED USE COMMUNITIES / LOWELL NEIGHBORHOOD
One of the lesser-known communities (but super exciting) are the mixed-use buildings just south and east of downtown Colorado Springs, located off of Nevada Avenue. Being built around the old Lowell School (that now serves as an office building) townhomes, lofts, condos, and even a senior living community come together to form a unique community.
Charming row houses with a touch of a European feel, line the acreage around the historic brick school. Residences here carry the designation of mixed-use and residential/commercial properties. Two and three stories of having your business and living areas potentially in one place. (Now THAT’S an easy commute!)
SMALL BUSINESS HOMES
In addition to high-priced living quarters, there are a few neighborhoods with older and smaller homes. Many are in need of some TLC. Only a few years ago these were forgotten communities; now they are on the fringe of the revitalization happening in the city. Small business owners are snatching them up and converting them into abodes for business, charities, and community organizations. and other commercial uses. Folks like Tina with Frayla Boutique realized that these old, forgotten homes were in the direct path of the future. She snatched up a good deal, rolled up her sleeves, and turned the house into a darling boutique.
Even if you are not looking to open a business, there is still a little time to snatch a great deal to convert a house into your dream home – but probably not for long!
One positive aspect of looking for housing in an area with enormous homes – some even with separate cottages on their lots – rentals abound. Whether you are looking for a room in a large house, a basement rental, cottage, or are interested in one of the new apartment living buildings, Downtown Colorado Springs is a great place to look.
While there may be a few real estate listings here and there at an affordable price, the majority of residences in this historic district will cost you upwards of $500k.
Rental prices will vary greatly depending on the living arrangements, but apartment homes, like Blue Dot Place, start at $1100/mo for a 1-bedroom and $1600/mo for a 2-bedroom.
DOWNTOWN COLORADO SPRINGS IS FOR YOU IF…
- Are entrepreneurial-minded or love the fast-paced life of the downtown atmosphere
- Prefer walking and biking to work, dining, and shopping
- Folks who appreciate vintage or unique homes
When you’re ready for a look at Downtown and the Old North End, give me a call, and I’ll be happy to show you homes for sale in this delightful place as you search for your next home!
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