For lease: Lots of commercial space

Edward Jones financial advisor Chuck Poland stands outside his office and a series of new, empty commercial units in the Monument Village Shopping Center in the Redlands.

For Edward Jones financial advisor Chuck Poland, one is definitely the loneliest number.

A year and a half ago, Poland moved from an office space in Clifton to a new unit in a five-unit commercial strip built between Ace Hardware and Safeway in the Monument Village Shopping Center in the Redlands.

Today, he remains the only tenant in that building. The year’s-worth-of-free-rent carrot that has been dangled for some time hasn’t lured anyone else. And while he and his office manager are by themselves in that commercial strip, they aren’t alone when it comes to new neighborhood commercial construction going uninhabited in the Grand Valley.

“I am surprised because I think it’s a good business opportunity out here,” Poland said, standing in his office this week during a break between seeing clients.

At the other end of town, new commercial construction was slow to come to Orchard Mesa, a community rich in housing but poor in restaurants, banks and other services that forced residents to head north and west to shop.

But now that it’s arrived, forming bookends to the Orchard Mesa City Market, tenants have been slow to fill the space.

Four years after the Meridian Park commercial subdivision was built east of City Market near U.S. Highway 50 and 27 3/4 Road, there are two stand-alone tenants: First National Bank of the Rockies and a Family Dollar store. A 10-unit commercial strip is occupied only by Domino’s Pizza and the Orchard Mesa branch of the Mesa County Public Library.

To the west of City Market, near the B 1/2 Road overpass, a 12-unit commercial building has Anytime Fitness as its sole occupant. For-lease signs hang in every other window.

Realtors say the local economy has remained solid for the most part, but the fallout from a national recession still is felt here.

“Things have slowed down,” said Sid Squirrell, commercial broker for Bray Real Estate, who took over the leasing of the commercial space in Monument Village in January. “What I see is there isn’t a lot of outside pressure.”

Squirrell said local businesses can’t fill the available commercial space by themselves, and national companies aren’t drawn to developments that don’t generate a lot of traffic, meaning the neighborhood shopping centers could remain largely empty for some time.

Squirrell said he thinks the Monument Village development would be a good fit for things such as a yoga studio or a day-care facility.

“That’s the kind of thing I’m going to be chasing,” he said. “I’m going to have my work cut out for me.”

This story first appeared as a Mobile Junction item Tuesday morning online at


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