Improvements at the fairgrounds and a medical office on the horizon for Orchard Mesa
New homes continue to sell on Orchard Mesa, businesses are continuing to move in the area, and millions of dollars are being spent on construction of three big improvements at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.
A new covered equestrian arena is under construction at the fairground near the equestrian barns, which were completed in 2011. The arena is being built where the Mesa County Fair is normally held, but that shouldn’t cause a problem for the fair.
“We may be using that arena to put parts of the fair in,” said JoCarole Haxel, fairgrounds manager. “It’s going to change the face of the fair, but I’m optimistic that it’s going to be a positive change.”
The new arena will be slightly larger than the existing arena, and it will also have nicer features, like wind and shade protection. After the new barns were built, the fairgrounds saw a 30 percent increase in usage, attracting bigger shows. The fairgrounds hopes that the new, $2.5 million arena will continue the trend, increasing both the size and the quantity of horse shows.
“For people who aren’t familiar with the equestrian industry in Colorado, it’s a huge niche,” Haxel said. “We have one covered arena that’s been fully booked every weekend from March through October for the last three years.”
Construction has also started for the new fairgrounds entrance, which will be west of the current entrance where the new stoplight was installed on Highway 50 at 27 3/4 Road.
In addition to the new entrance at the west end of the fairgrounds, a new BMX facility will also be under construction starting in January, 2015.
“It should be completed by the springtime, in time for a national competition and an Olympic qualifier event for the 2016 Olympics,” Haxel said. County commissioners signed a commitment with USA BMX to bring the event to Grand Junction, which will be one of several Olympic qualifiers held in the U.S.
“We’re building it in partnership with the local BMX club,” Haxel said. The new track will include a larger seating area for the audience, an Olympic starting hill, which is 26 feet high, as well as the smaller hill and track for local and amateur riders. Haxel noted that the existing Grand Junction track is already the best track in the state, but the existing venue wouldn’t allow for growth. The new track will accommodate more participants and larger crowds.
New home construction at Chipeta Heights has been steady over the past four years and now there are only a few lots remaining in the neighborhood, which is west of 29 Road and south of B Road. Eric Perry, whose company, Epic Homes, has built dozens of homes in the neighborhood, is now starting infrastructure construction at Chipeta Heights West, a 17-home subdivision adjacent to Chipeta Heights. Perry hopes to have the streets paved and all infrastructure complete, with the first few homes under construction before winter arrives. The homes will be similar is size, design and price to those at Chipeta Heights, which are around 2,000 to 2,400 square feet, with prices ranging from $275,000 to $325,000.
Spyglass Ridge, an upscale neighborhood off 27 Road south of Highway 50 that features inspiring views and a great community center, is also seeing new construction. GJ Gardner has built several homes in the neighborhood and is building two more pre-solds on the lower levels and two spec homes on the upper portion.
As part of its mission to provide services in underserved areas in Mesa County, Family Health West purchased the former Choice Hotels call center building on Highway 50 near 27 Road earlier this year. The 22,000-square foot building had been vacant and available for sale for longer than a year. Family Health West has not yet decided what types of services it will offer in Orchard Mesa.
“At this point, we are in the very preliminary stages,” said Angelina Salazar, director of marketing and communications. “We need to find out what the community wants and whether or not we can provide those services.”
Some of the services Family Health West is considering include physician offices, a laboratory, radiology and basic x-ray services and urgent care.
Maverik purchased the former Alco building on Highway 50 last year and has plans to begin construction of a store on Orchard Mesa. Interior demolition will begin this week, according to Todd Meyers, Maverik spokesperson, and the company hopes to be on-site, starting construction of the new store by August 18.
Kyle Carstens is moving forward with his plans to move his Domino’s Pizza franchise from it’s current location at 230 E. Lynwood to a more visible and easily accessible location at 2674 Highway 50. He hopes to hire a general contractor as soon as he gets the green light from corporate headquarters.
“It’s a new business model for Domino’s,” Carsten said. Calling it Domino’s Pizza Theater, the company hopes that all franchisees will revamp existing stores, creating a more customer-friendly environment with sit-down dining.
“I’m going from 1,600 square feet to 3,400 square feet,” said Carstens, who has operated the Domino’s store on Orchard Mesa for seven years. “I like the location a lot better. I like the new concept. I think it’s good for Orchard Mesa.”