The Pinery Breaks Ground 08/24/2012 – The owners of a wedding and events center in Black Forest are moving ahead with plans to develop a similar venue in Colorado Springs by remodeling and enlarging the former Fish Market restaurant building on the west side.
Construction on The Pinery at The Hill, as the venue at 775 W. Bijou St. will be called, is expected to begin this fall and be completed by summer 2013, said Eric Allen, chief operating officer of Pinery Enterprises. It will be similar to The Pinery at Black Forest, which has been open for five years near Black Forest and Shoup roads north of the Springs.
The former Fish Market building had been vacant for years when it was purchased by The Pinery’s owners in 2008 for about $1.8 million. At that time, they announced plans to make over the property, but held off after the economy slumped, corporations pulled back on meetings and investors pulled out, Allen said.
As envisioned, the building will be completely renovated and its roughly 10,000 square feet will be increased to nearly 22,000 square feet, which includes the addition of a second floor. The Pinery at The Hill will be about 6,000 square feet larger than The Pinery at Black Forest. The project’s price tag will be $9 million to $10 million, with money being raised from private investors, Allen said.
The remodeled facility — which sits on a hill and has views of the mountains and downtown — would include upper and lower ballrooms, outdoor decks, a chapel, separate rooms for brides and grooms, a gourmet kitchen, seven conference rooms with audio-visual systems, a floral retail store, state-of-the-art entertainment, sound and lighting systems and expanded parking.
In addition to weddings and receptions, The Pinery at The Hill will target meetings and corporate get togethers, Allen said. Several such functions could be held simultaneously at the facility, although only on days when weddings aren’t taking place, he said.
“We feel that there’s a lot of opportunity with the corporate and meeting groups,” Allen said. “There’s not a lot of meeting space quite like that, with the view that we have and incorporating our own private kitchen, floral and we have our own retail. There’s nothing like this with a view. Location is everything.”
The Pinery at The Hill also will have a 250-member private club for men and women, which its members can use for entertaining.
Allen says The Pinery’s owners believe improving the site will have a positive effect on the surrounding area, triggering a wave of residential and commercial redevelopment.
“What we’re building will bring in, my whole vision is, it’s going to bring in people who want to fix up their homes and fix up that neighborhood, like a beautification project,” he said.
Courtesy of The Gazette
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter@richladen