Mixed-use project targets millennials
A 14-stage plan to turn prize commercial real estate in the heart of downtown Grand Junction into a multimillion-dollar mixed-use development recently took an important step forward when the Grand Junction Downtown Development Authority extended an option on parking spaces in the city’s public parking structure.
The DDA Board extended until November the rights of a local builder to buy or lease the spaces in conjunction with the development of a rectangle of land at the southeast corner of Fourth Street and Rood Avenue.
Securing the right to 31 parking spaces in the city’s parking structure accomplished the fifth step of the plan, but nine steps remain to be completed before the $7 million project starts leasing space in March 2018, Senergy Builders owner Darin Carei said.
“It is exciting,” Carei said prior to the board vote. “We’re sort of in the very beginning stages. If we get the parking, we breathe a little easier.”
The vote also demonstrated the developer’s due diligence — detailed in a 35-page site strategy and implementation plan — was up to date. A positive vote on the parking depended on the completion of due diligence, DDA officials said.
“The option agreement requires (Senergy) to submit some diligence in order for the option to continue through November of this year,” City Attorney John Shaver said.
Senergy Builders is spearheading the project, to be known as The Confluence Development, at 130 N. Fourth St. It emphasizes energy efficiency and sustainability in design.
At an estimated total cost of between $6 million and $7 million, the proposed five-story building will turn “empty lot space … into a place of identity and realized possibility,” according to Jeffery Fleming of Colorado Land Advisor, a consultant on the project.
“Today was a big deal for parking,” Fleming said.
The project calls for renovation of the streetscape “to bring the look and feel of Main, Colorado and (Seventh streets) to this half-block of Fourth,” he said.
A mixed-use project, The Confluence would feature 6,300 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space on the first floor and multiple studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors of the building. Tenants on the second through fifth levels would use secure doorways into the garage and take elevators to access Rood Avenue.
“The project takes advantage of the street renewal by creating pedestrian activity along retail shops and restaurants with sidewalk cafe-type seating typical of Main Street,” Fleming said.
Further pedestrian activity will be seen in the parking structure “as dozens more cars” are expected. Parking demands on the 451-space structure could increase as much as 82 vehicles per day, he said.
The shared parking structure, in-house recycling operation, rooftop solar panels and other built-in efficiencies are expected to attract millennials seeking an urban lifestyle and retirees looking for freedom from house maintenance duties, Carei said.
“First-time buyers and those looking to re-establish their credit are shedding their parents’ idea that suburbs are the place to live out their chosen lifestyles,” Senergy’s implementation plan states. “A generation now larger than the baby boomers, the millennials, are transforming the real estate market on the same magnitude. Just as boomer parents flocked to suburbs, millennials are returning to urban living and driving demand for compact, multi-family housing, seemingly endless food venues and craft beer microbreweries.”
Senergy projects a 6 percent return on the property, or around $360,000 in profit on the project.
The next steps are to hire an architect and complete final design by January. If all government agency approvals are obtained by July 2017, construction is slated to start the following October.