CSBJ Best in Business | Urban Redevelopment
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Best Urban Redevelopment

Ivywild School

After decades of losing many of the city’s most iconic structures — the Burns Opera House and the second iteration of the Antlers Hotel are widely considered the city’s greatest losses — the residents of Colorado Springs have begun standing up for history with a mission to recycle it.

Perhaps the most successful example of this new wave of urban redevelopment is the Ivywild School.

In 2012, a group of local businessmen purchased the school that for 93 years provided educations to thousands of local children, and they quickly recreated the space as one that would remain at the core of the Ivywild neighborhood community.

“The Ivywild School project demonstrates what can be achieved with reuse and renovation on a large scale,” said Ivywild spokesperson Steve Oliveri. “The Ivywild School represents the true value of urban redevelopment, holding both commercial opportunity and historical integrity in mind at the same time.”

Four years after opening, it appears their ambitions have become a great success. The former school now houses a cocktail and espresso bar, bakery, butcher, whiskey distillery, an events venue and ample retail space and is home to Bristol Brewing Co. (one of the area’s largest breweries).

The project has helped kickstart a new era of placemaking, preservation and community-minded commerce in Colorado Springs.

“This award confirms for the Ivywild School, as a whole organism, that our love for the rich history of the Ivywild neighborhood and school, and even the greater community of Colorado Springs, is something that resonates with our guests and fans,” Oliveri said.

Web: ivywildschool.com | Phone: 719-368-6100

2. South Nevada Avenue

3. Blue Dot Place

Web: bluedotplace.com | Phone: 719-243-0846

Colorado Springs, Write-in