Courtesy of Forrest Boutin/Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs
Vacancy Rate: 6.4%
Recent homes added: 1,739
Projected Annual Growth Rate (2015-2020): .99%
Arts-related businesses: 229
WalkScore (out of 100): 33
9. Colorado Springs, CO
Few cities hold the collection of art, parks and farm-to-table restaurants that you’ll find in Colorado Springs, Colo., Modern buildings blend with historic architecture throughout the city’s downtown area, where flower pots and trees line pedestrian-friendly streets and statues, carvings and paintings adorn shop windows, parks and even medians. Colorado Springs has the highest concentration of both parks and arts-related businesses among the cities that made our list of the Best Downtowns.
Innovative work spaces like Epicentral Coworking, a shared office environment, along with a collection of creative outlets and a growing selection of restaurants, continue to lure businesses into Downtown Colorado Springs, which has also seen an increase in population density. The boost in residents and entertainment options makes the downtown area highly attractive to entrepreneurs, who want to be around other entrepreneurs and college-educated peers. Scattered around the downtown area are a variety of restaurants and pubs serving everything from burgers and pizza to international mixes, locally crafted beers and fine wines. Among the most popular restaurants in Colorado Springs are the Odyssey Gastropub, The Rabbit Hole and Skirted Heifer.
Living downtown doesn’t preclude residents from enjoying the beautiful outdoor amenities in and around Colorado Springs. In fact downtown residents may have an easier time getting to parks and recreational facilities than those in more suburban settings. Acacia Park, in the center of downtown provides areas to play shuffleboard, play in a fountain and enjoy summer concerts. America the Beautiful Park, located on the southwestern edge of downtown, features walking paths that connect with two large trails, a playground and pavilion. Towering above the city are Cheyenne Mountain, Pikes Peak and Mt. Manitou which offer opportunities to hike, camp and fish. Downtown residents can easily squeeze in some rock climbing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking or golf after work or on the weekends.