The new falcon herald logo.
Feature Articles

New road paves way for Falcon development

On Nov. 2, voters in School District 49 said no to a mill levy override of $77 million that would have lasted through the D 49 2035-2036 budget years. For the second time in two years, residents turned down the tax increase that proponents hoped would ease the strain of an increasing student population. Falcon D 49 is the fastest growing school district in Colorado.Build and they will come. New residents find Falcon to be the new frontier as El Paso County pushes eastward.As the county sprawls, Powers Boulevard is, in short order, replacing Academy Boulevard as the center of El Paso County. But another major road development just a few miles toward Kansas may eventually threaten Powers Boulevard’s reign as the new hub.As Falcon, a previously known rural haven for ranchers, farmers and free spirits who wanted to escape city lights and back-to-back neighborhoods, burgeons with a non-stop influx of businesses and residents, one developer is about to pave the way for a new four-lane road.The idea for the new road commenced when King Soopers decided to grab its share of the Falcon boom with plans to open a strip mall alongside Woodmen Road, across from Meridian Road north. The grocery mogul decision makers demanded that developers build a road to accommodate customers who would come to the store from all directions. And developers say King Soopers is determined to sell groceries by the end of 2005, so Falcon Highlands and the Meridian Road plat are on the final leg.Developer Greg Timm plans to start digging dirt for the new Meridian Road by next summer. “They (King Soopers) do need the access – any retailer would want that kind of access,” Timm said. The new four-lane Meridian Road will start at the current Meridian and Woodmen Road intersection and locate west of the Shops at Woodmen Hills, veering south and west of the Diamond Shamrock to Falcon Highway.Long-time Falcon commercial property owner, Art VanSant, is thrilled with the new Meridian Road. “We’re loving it at the Falcon Station,” VanSant said. The Falcon Station, aptly named because of its spot near the old railroad station, which put Falcon on the map in the 1800s, was Falcon’s commercial core before Safeway entered the scene a few years ago. Rawhide Realtors, The Rock Island Restaurant, Falcon Chiropractic and Wellness Center, the Prairie Jewel and Front Range Satellite Dish Network occupy the Falcon Station. Just north of the station is Farmer Jim’s and across the street is Bartlett Hay, both of which are embedded in Falcon’s roots.As Falcon grows, the drive for independence is prompting a few, including VanSant, to assess the pros and cons and community interest involved with incorporating the area. Neighboring Black Forest is doing the same. If Falcon incorporated, the newly formed city would have control over building and future growth.But, for now, residential growth has dictated a need and a desire for commercial growth. Another 30 acres of commercial space near the King Soopers center will more than likely become an automotive center to include businesses like a carwash, an oil and lube store, a tire store, etc., Timm said. “I’ve had a variety of service center type people contact me,” he said.And plans for a new 250-home residential community that backs up against the commercial development will soon be under way, Timm said. Ray O’Sullivan, owner of Realty Development Services, is making progress with the residential roads and utilities, Timm said. “O’Sullivan should be ready to start building in January,” he said. The residential community will be known as Falcon Highlands and represented under the Falcon Highlands Municipal District. “I am the commercial end of it, and Ray is doing the residential,” Timm said.The Meridian Road sketch plans were presented to the county commissioners for final approval on Nov. 18, and, at that time, access points/right-of-ways were to be determined, said Carl Schueler, the El Paso County planning division manager. The new Meridian Road is imperative to the commercial area, Schueler said. “What we require from the developer are the road improvement plans and a guarantee of funds to build the road,” he said.Will Meridian Road eventually become the new Powers? Schueler said the majority of Powers Boulevard is shifting to state ownership, and it’s unlikely that would happen to Meridian Road. It’s futuristic to think Meridian Road will become Powers, Schueler said. “It’s not connected the same way, but it will certainly be a major new commercial corridor serving that (Falcon) area,” he said.What’s happening in Falcon is typical, Schueler said. As the residential community builds, the commercial follows. And Falcon property owners, who didn’t have a clue their horse and grazing property would be a target for prime commercial development in the 21st century, are reaping the benefits as developers, small businesses and big-box stores rush to get their piece of the pie.Frank and Lois Moore are two of those property owners. In 1966, they bought 40 acres just south of what is now the Falcon Towne Center for $16,000. They wanted horse property for their daughters. Fast forward to 2003 and 2004, and a mere 4.42 acres of the Moores’ acreage sold for $385,000, said Frank Moore Jr., a broker and the owner of The Moore Agency. “My parents had no idea that this would be prime commercial real estate years later,” Moore said.The younger Moore said that they have under contract all of the remaining land but 11 acres, which they will retain for now. “We’ve had a lot of serious interest for the 11 acres, but we aren’t sure what we’ll do – we could either sell it or develop it ourselves,” he said. Now Moore, too, has an interest in the final plat of Falcon Highlands and the new Meridian Road. “We want to make sure we have adequate access to our property off the realigned Meridian Road for future development,” he said.And future development it is. Ron Wynn, the D 49 interim superintendent, knows that because of continued growth his school district is facing some difficult decisions. In a Nov. 5 Gazette article, one D 49 board member talked about splitting or fractionizing the school district. The school had previously come up with a back-up plan, if the mill levy did not pass, which includes year-round classes, program eliminations, fragmenting school days into shifts and additional modular buildings. But Wynn said anything, including fractionizing, is up for discussion as the district looks at a variety of options.Meanwhile, they are still building, and they are still coming. And adding to the Falcon map is a brand new four-lane roadway.PULLOUT: As Falcon, a previously known rural haven for ranchers, farmers and free spirits who wanted to escape city lights and back-to-back neighborhoods, burgeons with a non-stop influx of businesses and residents, one developer is about to pave the way for a new four-lane road.

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Weather Cams by StratusIQ

Search Advertisers