New construction in the northeast area brings new life and new interest
New housing areas, a new park and improvements to a major road are in store for those who may be thinking about living in the northeast part of town.
North Avenue, once the main drag of Grand Junction, is seeing life again as some shopping areas attract new retailers and service providers. The city is designing improvements to the section of North Avenue from 12th to 23rd Street that should continue to attract residents and businesses.
“It is not a reconstruction of the street,” said Paul Jagim, project engineer for the city of Grand Junction. “We’re adding those missing elements to make the road an appealing and safe place for all varieties of road users. We want to make the corridor look better.”
The design includes pedestrian improvements, landscape and lighting. The North Avenue route is the busiest bus route for Grand Valley Transit, so the design also includes three new bus pullouts and two additional crosswalks.
“Our hope is to get it under construction sometime in late 2014 or early 2015,” Jagim said. “We want to get it done before JUCO (of 2015).”
Although the Strothman Distillery on North Avenue closed, the building and large piece of land on which it sat was purchased by Mind Springs Health, which operates both inpatient and outpatient facilities on adjacent property. Mind Springs has moved some administrative departments to the new location on North Avenue and will continue to move administrative functions out of the outpatient facility. Mind Springs will eventually expand on the two acres of vacant land directly behind the former distillery.
The Veterans Affairs Hospital on North Avenue is also planning for additional improvements, with a patient parking garage planned for the west side of the hospital. The parking garage will have two stories and 190 parking spaces. Due to the rising costs of concrete, the VA had to downsize and go back out to bid on the garage, but still hopes to begin construction by the end of the year.
The VA is planning an outpatient facility that will also sit on the west side of the hospital. The 20,000-square foot facility will offer rehabilitation and occupational therapy, as well as a prosthetics lab.
New housing is in the works for the northeast area. Blue Star is currently building in Stagecoach, a subdivision at 31 and F 1/2 Road. While it is building homes in one section of the development, the company is building roads and infrastructure for the rest of the development. There’s been a fair amount of interest in the homes.
“One is already sold,” said Amanda Potter with Landmark Realty, the listing agent for the development. “Two are under contract, but there are 10 active, available listings.”
Four of the available homes are complete and the remainder are in various stages of construction.
Max Sneddon with Sneddon Construction has been building homes in Walnut Estates off 29 Road north of F 1/2 since 2009. He’s getting ready to start the complete the infrastructure construction of the second filing of the development, which was started in the fall, but had to be put on hold until warmer weather. There will be 22 lots in the filing and they will be available for sale if the weather and the asphalt companies cooperate by the end of April.
Chaparral West, which built the Legends subdivision near 28 1/4 Road at Patterson Road, is getting ready to begin infrastructure on Bella Demora, a 108-unit housing development that will sit between the Legends and Patterson. The development will be a mixture of single-family homes, attached homes and town homes.
“We’re almost at the end of the preliminary plan,” said Jeffery Fleming with Chaparral West. “We hope to have it finalized on Friday (March 21), go before the planning commission in April and City Council in May.”
Pricing will be similar to the Legends, starting at around $180,000, with home sizes starting at 1,162 square feet.
Matchett Park is directly across Patterson Road from the Bella Demora subdivision and the planning process is underway to determine what the 205-acre park will look like. To put the size of the park into perspective, Canyon View Park, which is currently the largest developed park operated by the city of Grand Junction, has 110 acres.
The city has already hosted three open meetings about the park and is excited about the level of participation from the community.
“We had 180 people attend the first meeting,” said Tracy Wieland, project manager. “Almost 1,200 did the online survey.”
Based on community input, park planners have set aside the eastern side of the park as a natural, native area, with walkways, trails, a dog park, a bike park and a disc golf course. The more active spaces will be on the western side of the park, where a great lawn is planned. The great lawn area is large enough for multiple organized athletics, as well as public concerts. The western half of the park will also have a circular walk, playgrounds, trails, picnic areas, restrooms and a skate park.
The school district owns 14 acres at the southern edge of the park and may be selling four acres to a charter school, so the park area could also hold an elementary school and a charter school at some point in the future.
“There is no likelihood of anything happening this year,” Wieland said when asked about construction. “It’s just not feasible, even if the city council approves it.”
The city was able to do the master design plan with the help of a $75,000 GOCO grant. Additional GOCO funds could help finance the rest of the park.
The newest apartment buildings in town are in the northeast; Village Park apartments, a Grand Junction Housing Authority project, completed the final building in October, 2013. All apartments are currently leased and turnover has been relatively low in the complex. Residents’ income must be 60 percent or more below the area median family income in order to qualify for housing.
Revitalization is making the northeast area an attractive place for both residents and businesses, and new housing at affordable prices sweetens the appeal.