Developers still pounding away on residential projects on Orchard Mesa
Although a few subdivisions in Orchard Mesa sat empty in 2009 and 2010, new houses are now under construction in various subdivisions all across the area.
In subdivisions like Chipeta Heights, the original partners managed to hang in through the tough economy and are still pounding away, making progress. There were 52 lots in the subdivision when it was brought to the market in the summer of 2008. Right now, there are only 18 remaining lots available for construction.
Eric Perry with Epic Homes has built many of the recent homes in the subdivision, including two that are completed and available for sale and one that he started in July, which will be available in late fall.
“He’s putting in lots of upgrades like tile flooring in the living areas, granite countertops, 2-by-6 construction and interior design by a professional interior decorator,” said Harry Perry with Coldwell Banker, the listing agent for the property.
While new homes in the subdivision are less expensive now than when it was first brought to market, they aren’t dramatically reduced, nor are they smaller, with fewer amenities.
“We’re holding the quality of that subdivision up,” Perry said.
The subdivision is about a mile from the 29 Road bridge, which gives access to both Riverside Parkway and the new bridge over the railroad tracks to I-70 B, making it very convenient for residents regardless of their destination.
Falcon Ridge and Red Tail Ridge, two subdivisions south of U.S. Highway 50, were lost by the original developers and ended up back in the hands of the bank. At Falcon Ridge, Jen Pedersen with Metro Brokers sold many of the bank-owned lots to individual homeowners and investors.
Local builder Chris Potter was able to purchase directly from the bank, and started out buying one lot at a time, building one house at a time. He built and sold five houses in the subdivision in the last year.
Constructors West is partnering with Home Loan Insurance to build Red Tail Ridge south of U.S. Highway 50 off 29 3/4 Road. The company had to put in the infrastructure first and is now building a few spec homes. Right now, two homes are under construction. One has already sold and one is available for sale.
At Mesa Estates, a large patio-homes subdivision north of Highway 50 near 28 1/2 Road, original developer and builder Darren Davidson was able to sell five homes in the last two months, including three that weren’t finished. He’s currently negotiating to sell the 70 remaining lots.
“We couldn’t afford to hang on to them,” Davidson said.
One man’s decision to sell usually gives another man a golden opportunity to buy, which is what happened when the businessman next to Humphrey RV, 800 U.S. Highway 50, decided to retire. Rather than list his property for sale through a commercial real estate agent, he simply approached Brad Humphrey and asked if he was interested in buying the property. Not only did Humphrey purchase the property to house the service department, he gave his showroom an extensive remodel.
“Some people thought we were crazy to spend all that money in a downturn,” Humphrey said. “Our business was such that we had to do it. We’ve had the best three years in spite of the economy. We’ve been very blessed.”
The Mesa County Fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. Highway 50, could also get an extensive remodel in the next few years. Before the fairgrounds gets a remodel, however, there will be a new traffic signal at the fairgrounds on Highway 50.
“It will make the entrance into City Market safe,” said Jessica Peterson, public relations director for Mesa County.
Because the intersection involves a state highway, there is an added layer of complexity and regulations to follow. Construction should start at the end of 2012, however, and be finished in 2013.
At some point, the entrance to the fairgrounds will also be given a makeover, but before that happens, the county and the fairgrounds board want to update the fairgrounds master plan first.
“This has been a large, ongoing effort for some time,” said Peterson, who added that the fairgrounds staff has been talking to all stake holders and will also hold a series of public meetings when it unveils a new master plan. Look for an announcement about an open house to be held sometime in September.
The county has set aside several million dollars in the capital plan to do improvements at the fairgrounds but wants to ensure that the improvements are a match with those who use the fairgrounds.
“We want to utilize the property in the best way for folks in the community,” Peterson said.
As one of the larger attractions on Orchard Mesa, the fairgrounds offers a great place for locals to watch equestrian events, practice their BMX skills, admire cacti at the Colorado State University Extension gardens and host events that neighbors and community members want.