One of the newest retail projects to come to InterQuest in northern Colorado Springs is being developed by a large church, not a large real estate company.
Part of the New Life Church parking lot, on the southeast corner of the church campus east of the InterQuest and Voyager walks, is already home to a Dutch Bros Coffee drive-thru which opened last year .
New Life leases part of the parking lot to Dutch Bros, which has constructed an 892 square foot building on the land it leases. The Oregon-based regional coffee chain has multiple locations in the Springs.
Dutch Bros will now be joined by a 7,836 square foot multi-tenant retail building just west of the cafe, according to a proposal submitted to city government planners.
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New Life Church will own the retail building and plans to lease its space to three restaurants and a home improvement store with which the church is about to sign agreements, senior pastor Brady Boyd said. Ground has been broken on the building, which is expected to be completed this summer, he said.
The New Life project is among the latest in the booming InterQuest area, which has arguably overtaken the Powers Boulevard corridor as Colorado Springs’ hottest shopping area.
Dozens of restaurants, shops, hotels and entertainment venues are open at InterQuest, and have been joined by hundreds of apartments and townhouses.
In-N-Out Burger, Scheels All Sports, Great Wolf Lodge and Water Park, Whataburger, Shake Shack, Regal Cinemas and Springhill Suites by Marriott are among dozens of household names that have opened or are planned at InterQuest.
Ent Credit Union built its new headquarters there; Centura Health has initiated construction of a 72-bed hospital in the area; and the Air Force Academy stands across Intestate 25 and west of the sprawling InterQuest developments.
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Now New Life Church has gotten into the act.
The evangelical Christian ministry, which has thousands of members, occupies nearly 40 acres northeast of InterQuest and Voyager, according to El Paso County land records.
Years ago, the church redesigned its auditorium, shrinking the facility to about 5,000 seats from 8,000, Boyd said. This overhaul left New Life with more parking spaces than it needed, he said.
“We had way too much parking,” Boyd said. “We said, ‘Let’s use the property then to generate money for the ministry.’ This is what we do.”
As the InterQuest area has warmed in recent years, some church board members with commercial real estate experience have proposed development of the excess parking space, Boyd said. The site covers just over 2 acres, according to land records.
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“We have this space, it’s in high demand, we know how to develop it, we know how to build,” Boyd said. “Primarily some people inside our church help us do that. I’m not a developer, I’m a pastor.”
Of the three restaurants looking to take up space in the new retail building, one would be Shipley’s Do-Nuts, Boyd confirmed, in response to a question from The Gazette. The Houston-based chain entered the Pikes Peak region in late 2019 with a franchise-operated store in Fountain, south of Springs.
Other potential users for the remainder of the New Life commercial building were not disclosed.
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A religious group using surplus property for business purposes is not necessarily unusual.
Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs and a North Carolina-based commercial real estate company have formed a joint venture in recent years to develop 43 acres on the east side of the ministry’s North Campus.
Their project, the Highlands at Briargate Mall and Mall, is being developed southwest of Briargate Parkway and Chapel Hills Drive. Restaurants, medical uses and residences for the elderly are part of the complex.