Stratmoor Hills is an unincorporated neighborhood of 540 homes built in the 1950s & ’60s on a hilly tract outside the entrance of Fort Carson just south of Colorado Springs.
Of course, Fort Carson just keeps growing. The mountain post is home today of 26,500 soldiers.
Of those, about 7,000 are deployed. The 1st Brigade Combat Team is in Afghanistan. Elements of the 43rd Sustainment Brigade and 71st Ordinance Group are in Iraq. The 4th Infantry Division headquarters is in Tikrit and the 10th Special Forces Group is working in Mosul.
But soldiers are returning. About 2,000 are expected to return by September, mostly 4th Infantry folks.
Then, in 2013, the post will grow some more with the arival of a new combat helicopter brigade with 2,800 soldiers. By 2014, the post will host 30,000 troops.
And they all gotta live somewhere. That’s where Place Properties of Atlanta comes in. Since 1995, Place has developed 33,000 beds nationwide. At first, it specialized in college housing. But in recent years it has gotten into military housing with a twist.
Instead of just renting apartments, Place will rent rooms — private rooms and bathrooms — targeting soldiers who are subject to quick deployments.
Artist's rendering of Independence Place at Cheyenne Mountain
Now, Place wants to build Independence Place at Cheyenne Mountain, a $30 million, 240-unit complex on Venetucci Boulevard on 16 acres across from World Arena.
It would resemble a similar complex at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
Entrance to Independence Place at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
About four years ago, Place began planning to spend $30 million to build Independence Place in Fountain, on the east edge of Fort Carson. But it never got built.
Now it’s eyeing land that fell into foreclosure after developer Ray Marshall defaulted on it.
At Independence Place, most utilities are included in the rent, so there are no steep utility deposits. At the Fort Benning Independence Place project, rents range from $558 per bedroom in a four-bedroom unit up to $875 for a one-bedroom unit.
Floor plans for an Independence Place four-bedroom unit at Fort Hood. Each unit includes a community living area, kitchen and laundry plus a private, locking bedroom and bathroom for each resident.
Each bedroom has its own bathroom, and the units can come furnished. The developments are gated and feature a clubhouse, fitness center, computer rooms, game rooms and swimming pools. Like most apartment complexes, it will have a clubhouse, pool, volleyball court, and basketball court.
Place already has built ”Independence Place” complexes for Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla., Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga., Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., and Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Texas.
Approximate boundaries of the 16-acre Independence Place at Cheyenne Mountain project.
Folks in Stratmoor Hills are not thrilled about the prospect of Independence Place in their backyard.
They view it as a big party place. An “animal house” fraternity type place.
That’s certainly not what developer Fred Abrahamson envisioned when he bought 800 acres from Sinton Dairy Farm in 1955 and began designing his suburban utopia.
He wanted custom homes on big lots. Houses would be a minimum 1,400 square feet and use stone or brick in their construction.
To attract high end buyers, he built a nine-hole golf course and a private swimming pool for the neighborhood. And he developed a water and sanitation district to serve the area.
But things have change dramatically since then. Stratmoor Hills has lost its exclusivity, its golf course and its pool. The pool was filled in 1978 and the clubhouse converted to a private home in 1983. And a strip club now occupies the old golf course clubhouse on B Street.
The Stratmoor Hills Swimming Pool was on Catalina Circle until closed in 1978. The pool was filled in and the clubhouse converted to a home in 1983. It sits in the shadow of a water tower in this Google Earth image.
The neighborhood plans to ask the El Paso County Commission to reject plans for Independence Place at Cheyenne Mountain when the project comes up at its Thursday meeting.
Read the 100-page packet of materials submitted to the El Paso County Planning Commission.
I wrote about the Independence Place project in 2009 when it was planned for construction in Fountain.
Here’s a link to the Independence Place complex near Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.