FRUITA: Quality of life continues to attract residents
The town of Fruita prides itself on being a small town, the kind of place that appeals to families and those who come for the recreation and stay for the way of life. The new hospital and recreation center both represent a commitment to the people who live in the area to provide a high quality of life.
“We want economic development with an eye toward small town atmosphere,” said Clint Kinney, city manager for the town of Fruita.
In pursuit of that goal, the town formed a downtown advisory board whose goal was to find ways to support the downtown area businesses. An advisory board member suggested Fruita Fourth Fridays. Downtown business jumped on the idea and launched the first Friday evening event in January.
“The weather was terrible, but people came out anyway,” Kinney said. “Every kind of business does something different. Some places had music, some had art.”
The purpose of the event is to draw people downtown, not just to provide a boost to the downtown businesses, but provide an enjoyable event that brings people together.
“People want to hang out downtown,” Kinney said.
Fruita has two new art galleries downtown and a new brewing company, the Copper Club Brewing Company, at 233 E. Aspen Ave., where Kettles Homebrew Supply used to be. Kettles moved around the corner, with access off Peach Street. The new brewing company serves only the beer it brews on its premises and does not serve food. Patrons are welcome to bring in their own food when they stop by for a beer.
Thai Palace, a new Thai restaurant at 439 U.S. Highway 6 & 50, opened in early February and features a variety of Asian fare.
Family Health West has also expanded its outpatient options, with a new plastic surgery center and an arthritis pain specialist both opening recently in the Kokopelli Shopping area on the south side of Interstate 70.
Fruita continues to be a popular spot for new housing. Blue Star Industries is building in three different Fruita subdivisions at various price points. At Brandon Estates, every home currently under construction is also under contract, but the company does have six remaining lots. At Roma Estates, off 20 Road near K 1/2, Blue Star has more than 10 homes under construction, with three available and eight additional one-acre lots. Blue Star is also building in Legacy subdivision at 18 and J.2 Road, where smaller homes will sit on smaller lots.
“Right now, that’s where everyone wants to be,” said Amanda Potter about Fruita. Although Potter sells for all the Blue Star subdivisions across the valley, Fruita remains the most desirable area for her buyers.
Activity has also been brisk for Liberty Homes, which recently broke ground on the final two homes at Red Rocks subdivision, near J 6/10 Road and Fremont. There are also two spec homes available in the subdivision, where all the homes are Energy Star-rated.
“It seems to me like the market has picked up in Fruita,” said Katie Zambrano with Coldwell Banker Homeowners Realty, the listing agent for Liberty Homes. “Buyers have to be more serious than they were two years ago. They can’t sit on a house and take a month to think about it. If it’s priced right, it’s going to sell.”
Adding to Fruita’s attraction, a partnership between the city of Fruita, the Riverfront Commission and Mesa County will begin construction of a new section of the riverfront trail that will connect Fruita to Grand Junction. The portion from the Fruita Welcome Center to 18 1/2 Road should be done by the end of the year, and the section from 18 1/2 Road to the Walker Wildlife Area should be finished in 2014.