Downtown property owners voted to establish the Downtown Development Authority in November 2006 to provide programs and financial incentives to encourage downtown development. DDA is governed by a board of 11 people appointed by Colorado Springs City Council. Downtown Partnership executes the work of the DDA as a contracted affiliate. In 2007, City Council adopted the Imagine Downtown plan as the plan of development for DDA. The DDA is funded in two ways: first, by a 5-mill tax levy within the district to support its operations, and second, through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The latter tax is the capture of increased property tax revenues following a baseline assessment. TIF revenues go into a special fund and, as it grows, the funds can be leveraged for support of downtown projects.

To date, DDA has provided more than $1.5 million in support to a wide variety of businesses, nonprofits and initiatives that enhance the economic vitality of downtown. This has included fa├žade improvements of many small businesses; support of USA Pro Cycling, the Downtown Olympic Celebration, Pikes Peak Arts Festival and many other special events that bring tens of thousands of people downtown; enhancements to streetscapes and public spaces; and support for feasibility studies for projects that hold catalytic potential for downtown. In all instances, DDA dollars leverage additional public and private investment, resulting in a multi-fold return from DDA support.

Mission of the DDA

The DDA builds public and private investment partnerships that promote the economic growth of Downtown Colorado Springs.

Plan of development

Imagine Downtown serves as the plan of development for DDA. The plan was created in 2005-2006 with the involvement of more than 400 community stakeholders. The plan can be found here.


  • Construction/conversion of at least 2,000 housing units of a variety of types.
  • Recruitment, retention and growth of retail, with a diverse mix and emphasis on independent retailers and careful consideration of select chain stores.
  • Increase the downtown workforce, with an emphasis on primary employment.
  • Encourage one-of-a-kind cultural and sporting venues and activities.
  • Achieve a high-density, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use downtown of high design standards, attention to historic preservation and emphasis on environmental stewardship.

District boundaries

The DDA encompasses roughly two square miles of downtown. For a map, go here.