Blue Star Industries building in subdivisions across the Grand Valley
John Davis, owner of the construction and development company, Blue Star Industries, has a long history in home construction in the Grand Valley. As a younger builder, he was one of many individuals in construction who went bankrupt after Exxon pulled out of the Grand Valley in 1982.
He bided his time, working for City Market in the 1980s and dipping his toes back in construction in the 1990s by buying and fixing HUD homes. He started buying land and building new homes in 2000, but kept one eye on the national economic picture.
By 2006, Davis started getting a little concerned.
“I’d been through it once,” he said. A builder can’t build homes unless he has raw land, but buying raw land at top prices in 2006 and 2007 sidelined many local builders when the economy tanked in ‘09.
“I got caught with more land than I wanted,” Davis admitted.
When foreclosures started flooding the market and there were more homes than interested buyers, Blue Star dropped its prices for new homes in order to compete with foreclosures, and continued to build.
“Our objective was to keep the doors open and pay the loans on the property,” Davis said.
At one point about a year and a half or two years ago, costs for materials began to increase while housing prices continued to decline. Davis wasn’t sure how much longer Blue Star could continue.
“It started turning around about a year ago,” Davis said. The company raised its prices in a reflection of its growing cost. In addition to building homes in existing subdivisions, like Silver Mountain in Grand Junction and Woodland Creek in Fruita, Blue Star began infrastructure construction in a few subdivisions in 2012.
All told, Blue Star built between 60 and 70 homes in 2012 and sold all but three of them. The company is building in multiple subdivisions and price points across the valley, from Brandon and Roma Estates in Fruita to Mahan Manor in Orchard Mesa, Westland Estates near D Road and Heritage Estates in the north area.
“I tell everybody, we’re in for a small boom this year,” Davis said. “It’s just a good market out there.”
Over the years, the product Blue Star builds has changed. Stemwall foundations on a crawl space have given way to concrete slabs. Masonite exterior siding has been replaced by stucco. Baseboard hot water heat and evaporative cooling have been replaced by forced air gas heat and air conditioning. Some of the changes are due to cost, while others have changed due to customer demand.
Blue Star Industries is not an Energy Star builder, but its homes have blown-in cellulose insulation in the attic and foam insulation around the concrete slab.
Amanda Potter with Landmark Real Estate is the exclusive real estate agent for Blue Star subdivisions. The company will begin building infrastructure for the third phase at Roma Estates near 20 and K Road in April and in Stagecoach subdivision near 31 and F 1/2 Road in May.
Right now, the company’s hottest-selling subdivisions are Brandon and Roma Estates in Fruita and Heritage Estates in the north area. Although homes in Mahan Manor, off Unaweep west of 29 Road, haven’t sold as quickly, Potter thinks those homes are some of the best deals available with Blue Star.