Photo credit: Sears
Recently, a concerned reader contacted SpringsTaxpayers and asked if we had heard anything about a Feasibility Study that addresses turning the vacant Southgate Sears location into a homeless facility of some type. It was news to us!
We did some exploring and filed a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request for emails that mention the topic. Since Sears closed, there have been numerous issues with camper owners using that abandoned parking lot as a campsite. In the emails we obtained, City staff mentioned that they had contacted the owners of the abandoned building. They were able to get a no-trespassing order on file for the property and lot. The order allows the City to enforce no camping at that location. Also, we saw no evidence in the emails of plans for a Feasibility Study to buy that building for homeless services.
In order to be thorough, though, we sent an email to At-Large City Councilman Wayne Williams and asked for confirmation or denial about a Feasibility Study. See that email below.
Hi Ms. Marshall,
Thank you for taking the time to contact Council Member Williams regarding homelessness in Colorado Springs. There are currently no discussions at this time regarding a new feasibility study for a homeless facility in Colorado Springs.
As you may know, the Mayor approved a new homeless initiative last year. As part of this initiative, a report has been produced that details the initiative’s goals, progress and future work. I will include a link to it below. Part of this updated plan includes new facilities goals such as remodeling the RJ Montgomery Center to provide more beds and spaces for individuals and their families.
I will also attach a link below to the website so you can gather more information at your leisure.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
City Council Constituent Response Specialist
City of Colorado Springs
We’ll keep following any new details, but for now it appears that there are no studies being done. We did see a recent article that the old Sears building has been sold, and will be subdivided to lease to multiple tenants. Although this didn’t turn out to be what our reader had heard, we are always happy to follow up on tips. Let us know if you hear anything you’d like us to find out more about!