Airport chooses developer for business park

Sep. 13--The Colorado Springs Airport business park's development will be handled by a Maryland real estate company with a long list of defense industry tenants that led to its entry into the Colorado Springs real estate market two years ago.

Airport officials said today they've chosen Corporate Office Properties Trust as master developer of the business park.

Company and airport officials now will begin negotiations on a 60-year lease of 270 acres that make up the business park, south of the airport terminal, and east of Powers Boulevard and Milton E. Proby Parkway on the Springs' southeast side.

Under the agreement, COPT will lease the land from the airport and, in turn, oversee development of office, industrial and retail buildings. The agreement is expected to be hammered out by year's end.

The business park will accommodate more than 3 million square feet of office and industrial space and will have a separate 25-acre site for a 300-room hotel. A 226-acre golf course also will be part of the project.

COPT was chosen because of its experience in development and because of its ties with defense contractors, whom airport officials would love to have as business park users, said John Faulkner, the airport's assistant director for planning and development. COPT has spent $136.6 million on building and land purchases in the Springs, according to El Paso County land records.

"Their client list, their tenant list, is very emblematic of the folks that would be interested in the park," Faulkner said. "They have eight or 10 top defense contractors as clients."

COPT plans to create a business park with a mix of office, industrial and retail space and hospitality services. The company says the business park will total approximately 3.5 million square feet with an estimated $800 million investment. The project's first phase would begin construction next year.

See a complete story in Friday's Gazette.

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