City eyes area north of Interstate 70 for commercial, industrial development

Grand Junction city officials are targeting the area north of Interstate 70 between Grand Junction Regional Airport and Clifton for commercial and industrial development in the next 30 years and say two new interchanges will be needed in those areas to accommodate that growth.

City planners and City Council members focused Monday on the northeast area of the Grand Valley as they continue to put together a comprehensive plan that will guide development in the valley through 2035.

Public Works and Planning Director Tim Moore said that area, the bulk of which is designated on the city’s future land-use map as agricultural with one home on every 35 acres, could become a mixture of business parks, industrial land and retail space in the years to come, according to the comprehensive plan’s preferred alternative.

Moore said that kind of development makes sense given the benefits the Clifton area could realize from sales-tax revenue and the projected growth of the airport. He said the city would like to try to connect 29 Road and H Road because that would eliminate the need to add a lane in each direction on I-70 between Horizon Drive and a new 29 Road interchange.

The city also could potentially work with CDOT on an expanded interchange at 32 Road to allow development north of I-70.

“It’s the first time that the idea of really trying to capitalize on that interchange (32 Road and I-70) has really come up,” Moore said.

The industrial development contemplated north of I-70 would help alleviate a
long-standing shortage of industrially zoned land in the valley. But Councilwoman Linda Romer Todd said industrial businesses need help finding land now.

Todd, the owner of Associated Brokers & Realtors, said of the 33 industrially zoned properties that are for sale in the valley, only six have utilities and infrastructure and are ready to occupy. Five of those are zoned industrial-office, which doesn’t help light- or heavy-industrial operations.

“We’re shutting them off with a lack of availability,” Todd said. “It’s not just the energy industry. There are a lot of industries (looking to move to the valley).”

City officials will host two more open houses on Dec. 16 and 17 to unveil to the public the comprehensive plan’s preferred alternative. The City Council is expected to adopt the plan early next year.


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