- U.S. Olympic Museum & Hall of Fame
The Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority "was really making history" on April 7 when the board voted unanimously to issue $39 million in bonds to fund construction of the U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame, URA board chair Wynne Palermo says.
Though the URA had trouble finding banks willing to buy the bonds, three banks eventually agreed, she says. The roughly $75 million project in lower downtown also has raised significant funds from private sources.
The project is one of four to be funded with state sales tax via the Regional Tourism Act. Those taxes will help repay the bond debt, Palermo says.
The bond issue will close April 12, and Palermo says she expects groundbreaking to take place in May. "It's going to be a big catalyst for our community, we think not only statewide, but we think there's interest around the world to come and see it," she says. "Olympians are pretty special to us."
The museum sits amid the Southwest Downtown Urban Renewal Area, which was authorized in 2001. Little development has occurred since, so Palermo says she expects to see a proposal before the authority board soon to re-authorize the area, which would restart the 25-year clock on use of tax increment financing. City Council would also need to sign off.