New homes are coming to Carson

By Scott Prater | mountaineer staff

FORT CARSON, Colo. — A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday to begin the demolition of existing homes in the Cherokee West Village neighborhood.

The Installation Management Command, Commanding General, Fort Carson Army leaders and Balfour Beatty community leaders attended the ceremony.

Lt. Gen. Omar J. Jones IV, commanding general of IMCOM, explained that Army leaders have prioritized housing as part of their commitment to providing a superior quality of life for soldiers and their families.

“Army families do a lot to prepare soldiers and the Army, and our ability to invest in them and their quality of life is a critical part of that,” Jones said. “It’s also essential to encourage people to consider joining. When they see the quality of life, the housing available to soldiers – and they start to make decisions about what they want to do with their future – hopefully that quality of life is something that attracts and inspires them to raise their hands and join the army.”

Colonel Nate Springer, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson, plunged a backhoe into the front yard of a legacy home near the corner of Aachen Drive and Harr Avenue, clearing the way for a project that will add 78 modern, three- and four-bedroom homes to the Mountain Post’s inventory.

“We have 72,000 soldiers, family members and Department of the Army civilians working at Fort Carson and about a third of our families live here,” Springer said. “We truly owe our young soldiers and families the best home they could live in. We’re really proud that Fort Carson is the “Best Hometown in the Army”. This is an excellent partnership between the BBC and Fort Carson.

The legacy homes, slated for demolition over the next few months in Cherokee West Village on the post side, were originally built between 1958 and 1963 and housed more than 57,000 soldiers and their family members over the past 60 last years.

“In my last two years as garrison commander, this has been the single most important project to cross the starting line,” Springer said. “This is going to impact so many families. I always think of 20-year-olds. This could be their first duty station and their first time in Colorado. We want them to have the best possible experience in the military.

During the first phase of the project, which began Wednesday, construction crews will demolish 239 existing units in Cherokee West and add 78 new housing units, while the second phase of the project will add an additional 161 units.

“I’m thrilled to know that when people drive down Highway 115, they’ll see the demolition project and know we’re taking action in rebuilding this neighborhood,” Springer said. “It felt good to start destroying the old neighborhood because we know we’re going to build new, beautiful, modern housing for our young soldiers and their families.”

The first phase of the demolition project is expected to be completed by October, while the demolition of the entire 239-unit district is expected to be completed in August 2023. Army and BBC leaders expect that that the construction of the new units be completed by 2025.

When completed, the new housing will provide military families posted to Fort Carson with close access to post schools, stores and other amenities.

Currently, Fort Carson has 3,207 living quarters in place for soldiers with families, with an occupancy rate of 92%. Executives expect the post to have a total of 3,368 housing units in post once this latest project is completed.

New homes are coming to Carson