A Grand plan

More details of what is being called the City Catalyst Project Development Plan are expected to be made public in August. But, in concept, the proposal offers a number of benefits for the community.

Under the Catalyst plan, a handful of local government entitities would team with private developers to construct new public and private buildings and to revamp several blocks of one of Grand Junction’s busiest avenues near the heart of the city’s downtown commercial corridor.

One of the key elements of the proposal is construction of a new central library for the Mesa County Public Library District. Although voters have twice rejected earlier plans for a new central library, a replacement for the old grocery store that currently houses the main library is still very much needed.

Also, the plan would include construction of a new senior services center, as well as senior housing, worker housing, office and retail space.

The organizations that are to be involved in the parternship include the city of Grand Junction, Mesa County, the Library District, the Downtown Development Authority, the Grand Junction Housing Authority and the Senior Recreation Center. A private investment group is in the process of purchasing land in the area on which it plans to build commercial and retail facilities.

The City Council last week approved a $200,000 contract — paid for by federal and state grants — to a Denver firm that is to design the development plan for project, which is to be centered in the 500 block of Grand Avenue.

It is an ambitious project that may be difficult to accomplish in the midst of the current recession. But it is the sort of ambitious undertaking that can be a real catalyst for a long-term revitalization of that part of the city.

We hope the partnership proves fruitful, the numbers are workable and the project becomes a reality over the next few years.


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