Survey to test the idea of increasing residential development downtown
Do you care about living downtown? If so, what kind of housing would you live in?
These types of questions are the premise for a survey being conducted by Grand Junction’s Downtown Development Authority. The confidential survey is available starting today on DDA’s website, downtowngj.org.
DDA Executive Director Harry Weiss said his agency is conducting the poll as a first step in gauging what residents are interested in seeing in housing trends to infill Grand Junction’s core.
Preliminary research suggests that downtown areas are becoming popular places to live, as people want shortened commutes and more access to services. This survey takes that idea further, specifically asking responders to rate their priorities in living spaces and their surroundings.
Recently retired folks may be one demographic interested in moving downtown, Weiss said.
“You look nationally at what’s called the silver tsunami,” he said. “As those people downsize, they don’t want the maintenance of a large yard and home. Compact downtown housing becomes one of the options and not just a senior apartment complex that’s out in the burbs someplace.”
The DDA is using the site of the burned-down White Hall, 600 White Avenue, as a test to consider if housing would work well in the city core.
The site is a block south from busy Grand Avenue, but within a stone’s throw of government buildings and retail shops on Main Street and Colorado Avenue. White Hall’s east wing was untouched by the Sept. 2011 blaze, and that area could more easily be converted to housing, Weiss said.
“White Hall gives us an opportunity to study a site in-depth and see the real constraints, like parking,” he said.
Weiss said Grand Junction has an abundance of single-family housing and multifamily complexes but they often have negative stigmas attached. But new multifamily housing complexes needn’t be cheaply built.
“It’s interesting, there just isn’t a lot of that choice,” Weiss said of a variety of housing options.
Survey results will be used to create development strategies for the downtown which will be presented in a downtown strategy report, he said. The DDA has created a committee of builders, real estate agents and planners to provide ideas for the project.
The survey was created with the help of the nonprofit Sonoran Institute.
For information, call the DDA at 254-4134.