A new chapter for this historic property preserves the architecture and supports existing tenants while infusing new life into the block. A surface parking lot was converted into an 8,000 s.f. multi-tenant patio space marked by 12’ tall corten steel marquees with neon signage. The warehouses, along with a 5,000 s.f. addition and roof deck, provide a home for 6 Colorado based food and drink tenants along with a yoga studio, office suites above, and a planned future brewery taproom and food hall.
Our design scope included the core and shell for the building, a new addition and roof deck, outdoor patios, multiple tenant finishes, alley and streetscape improvements, and exterior facade improvements to the remaining portions of the building. The primary design imperative we set for ourselves was to expose and celebrate as much of the beautiful historic trolley barns as possible, respecting their original design and use, while accommodating the new tenants. One example of this is the inclusion of 16 glazed aluminum overhead doors in the project, infilling the original trolley entrances, creating new openings, and taking advantage of Colorado Springs’ penchant for indoor/outdoor living. New openings in existing masonry walls are framed with exposed steel I-beams, stair towers and canopies framed with exposed steel channels, and cladding of raw and weathering steel invoke thoughts of trolley tracks and the industry that was prevelant at the time these buildings were originally built. The radiused corner of the building (formally a surface parking lot) creates a vibrant intersection for chance meetings, enhanced pedestrian experience, urban art, and ample space to wait for a table (much needed due to the popularity of these new businesses). This corner is capped with one of the only roof decks in downtown Colorado Springs drawing customers in droves.
A notable indicator of the project’s social and economic sustainability is the developer’s choice to retain several of the property’s existing tenants, recognizing their value as staples in the community. Joining these local concepts were Denver-based brands Atomic Cowboy Provisions and Dos Santos Tacos, signaling a growing interest in the Colorado Springs market from out-of-town investors. With a total cost of more than $8 million, the Trolley Block project represents the first major investment in the redevelopment of southwest Downtown, an area that will soon be anchored by the U.S. Olympic Museum. The master planning and architecture of the Trolley Block provides Colorado Springs with a heightened design experience that formerly did not exist in the City and will help to raise the bar on future downtown development.