Dozens of people huddled atop a shortgrass prairie hillside south of the Colorado Springs Airport on a blustery Thursday to celebrate a new housing and business development aimed at veteran entrepreneurs. The project is expected to bring at least 600 temporary jobs to the region.
Dirt work on 116 acres is yet to begin, but the 240 apartments and 15 business offices are expected to sit on 15 acres to be completed sometime next year. The area, which will be called Veterans Victory Housing and Small Business Center, is the brainchild of Kim Kuhle, founder and CEO of Veterans Victory.
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“I thought that we needed an entrepreneurial campus so that we could be really positive in helping our veterans get the chance to work on their veteran bids to the government, grab some of those military and construction contracts,” Kuhle said. “And work together to support one another, because a veteran has priority in getting any of those bids. What better type of person to be bidding than those who have been trained by the military?”
Retired Army Maj. Richmond Moore is planning to share his expertise in real estate investing and small-business development with veterans once the center opens.
“Our veterans are the lifeblood of this community, and a place like this is a game changer,” Moore said in a press release. “I could not be more excited to invest in a space like this and connect with so many on the brink of an exciting life transition.”
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The $67 million campus, which will be located on the northeast corner of Powers Boulevard and Bradley Road, was made possible by the Opportunity Zones created under former President Donald Trump’s tax plan.
The 15-acre site will include 240 Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible, green multifamily apartments, 15 business offices and event and coworking spaces. On-site financial education, small-business training along with collaboration and networking opportunities will be available.
Physical therapy, mental health services, yoga, hiking trails and social events will also be accessible. The site will also include solar panels and Tesla charging stations.
The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will be priced 15% below market rate, according to Kuhle.
“We will have as many as 20% of the residents … be home-based businesses with the fastest broadband possible,” Kuhle said.
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Forty of the apartments will be available at reduced costs through a partnership with Mount Carmel Veteran Service Center, Kuhle said. Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center will also offer its expertise to veterans as they transition into new civilian careers.
So far, 62 apartments have been spoken for, as have six of the 15 business offices.
Business tenants include the home base for Veterans Victory, a veterans credit-card company, a solar company, a psychologist and a podiatrist.
Veterans can get on the housing waiting list by texting Kuhle at 402-639-8855.