Since September 2022, we’ve been following The Launchpad, a proposed $20,000,000, 50-unit low-income housing project for homeless youth. We attended an informational meeting about the project that was held by The Place, a non-profit group that helps young people exit homelessness. The Place will manage The Launchpad. The video of that meeting is one of our top 10 most viewed videos, and we’ve been told it has been helpful in educating neighborhood residents about the project.
There are many arguments against The Launchpad, with multiple neighborhood groups opposing the development. These groups will appear before the Colorado Springs City Council on August 8th, asking the planning commission to overturn their approval of this development. The neighbors make very good arguments and we hope council members will listen.
We’re in the business of looking out for taxpayers, so we sought out information for you. We found a funding application for The Launchpad from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. The astounding details start on page 18. The total development cost is $534.04/square foot. The total cost for each studio apartment will be $403,411. These are tiny apartments, with 48 of them being 435 square feet, and 2 of them being 775 square feet. The average cost to build an apartment development is $422/square foot– 26% less than The Launchpad’s costs. Yet, Colorado government found no issue with the outrageously high cost, and awarded the project a $3,750,000 taxpayer funded grant.
The City of Colorado Springs, aka you, if you live here, is pitching in, too. They are giving the developers a 0.5% low interest $500,000 cash loan, and they’ve committed to both fee and sales tax rebates in the amount of $300,000.
Here are the project metrics:
Here’s the budget for the project:
After looking at the project cost, we believe The Launchpad is not an efficient use of taxpayer dollars. In fact, it’s abusive of taxpayer dollars. Many of us live on a beer budget, and are just trying to get by paycheck to paycheck. The Launchpad is a champagne development. The numbers leave us wondering if there will be a gold toilet seat for each resident, or just for the developers.
With all of the apartment buildings going up in Colorado Springs, high rent prices will come down. It’s the basic law of supply and demand. Let things happen naturally – no government intervention is needed. Reach out to City Council members and ask them why they are okay with this kind of irresponsible spending. It’s not a good look for local and state government.
Yolanda Avila Yolanda.Avila@coloradosprings.gov
Lynette Crow-Iverson firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Donelson Dave.Donelson@coloradosprings.gov
Randy Helms Randy.Helms@coloradosprings.gov
Nancy Henjum Nancy.Henjum@coloradosprings.gov
David Leinweber email@example.com
Mike O’Malley Mike.OMalley@coloradosprings.gov
Brian Risley firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Talarico email@example.com