New houses draw more people to the north area
Continued new housing construction and significant road improvements in the largest business district in the north area are indications that the area remains a desirable place to live and work.
The city received a Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnership (RAMP) grant through the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) that will pay for a significant portion of the $5.25 million cost of the new interchange construction on Horizon Drive and Interstate 70. The Horizon Drive Business Improvement District is contributing $550,000 to the total cost and the city is matching that with another $550,000. The CDOT grant covers the remaining costs.
The improvements include construction of two large roundabouts that will replace the three current lights near the I-70 interchange, as well as sidewalk improvements and medians to consolidate some of the left hand turns.
“Over the last year, we’ve met with every property and business owner,” said Vera Kusal, the manager with the Horizon Drive Business Improvement District. “We wanted to make sure concerns were heard and addressed.”
Right now, Horizon Drive consists of a lot of pavement and congestion, with no safe place for pedestrians or bicyclists. The roundabouts help to slow traffic without bringing it to a complete stop, while additional medians and crosswalks will make it safer for pedestrians.
The city has been talking about the need for improvements and on Horizon Drive since 2007, when it made the landscape improvements to the I-70 interchange. The city is currently working on the design review and getting ready to start the real estate acquisition phase. Construction of the road improvements should start in September, 2015.
“We’re hoping to be done by the end of May in 2016, in time for JUCO,” said Trent Prall, project engineer with the city of Grand Junction.
Buyers are flocking to new home construction in the north. Blue Star has been building in Heritage Estates, south of G Road between 24 1/2 and 25 Road, since 2013, with its first closing in the subdivision in March of 2013. Since then, the builder has built and sold almost 60 homes in the subdivision.
“I feel like that’s where people want to go,” said Amanda Potter with Landmark Real Estate, the listing agent for Blue Star Homes. “People who want a bigger yard go to Mahan Manor in Orchard Mesa or Stagecoach in the northeast, but people want to be in that north area.”
The homes at Heritage Estates are priced from $189,000 to $219,000, with sizes ranging from 1,600 to 2,000 square feet.
Blue Star is also building larger homes in the north at Greystone, which is a few miles north of Heritage Estates off 25 Road. The homes at Greystone sit on one-acre lots, which makes it feasible to build larger homes. Blue Star has built 11 homes in Greystone, where there are a total of 48 lots.
Copper Creek subdivision, another subdivision south of G Road off 25 Road, has also been a popular place with buyers.
“We’re out of inventory,” said Silas Colman, the builder of the subdivision. “We had to start pushing new starts ahead of schedule.”
Colman wanted to create a true community at Copper Creek, which is why all the homes have front porches that face the street and why there’s a large community garden in the center of the neighborhood.
“People like the community aspect,” Colman said, adding that they also appreciate the Energy Star rating, the fresh look of the homes and the attention to detail.
“Most of our buyers have owned a few homes before,” Colman said. “They want quality construction.”
A new subdivision, Ruby Ranch, is finally starting to look like it will soon grow houses. The subdivision was originally brought to market in 2010, but was stalled by a foreclosure. The current developer purchased it from the bank a few years ago and redeveloped it into smaller lots.
“It’s a bring your own builder subdivision,” said Julie Somerville, the listing agent for the development. “I think it will be comparable to Wilson Ranch.”
Some of the lots are flat, while others may be suitable for two-story homes or homes with a walkout basement.
Currently, there is one lot under contract, although Somerville has had other brokers tell her that they have buyers who are considering multiple lots.
“Everyone’s waiting for the pavement and concrete to get done,” Somerville said. “We expected it to get done by July 1, but it may be the end of July.”
An assisted living facility, Beehive Homes, is hoping to be open in July at the corner of H Road and 24 Road. The home will eventually have 30 bedrooms in two buildings, but in its first phase, it will open one home with 15 bedrooms.
“We like the concept of Beehive,” said Wendell Gates, the owner of the Grand Junction franchise. “The idea is a home setting. We’re here to assist our residents in daily needs.”
The Beehive facility has a large kitchen, with an open dining and living area. Each of the 15 bedrooms has a private bath. Gates relocated from New Mexico to open the franchise in Grand Junction and is excited about his location in the north area.
“It’s in the city, but seems out in the country,” Gates said. “The new hospital was nearby, and the property didn’t have to be rezoned.”
Western Constructors is building the 7,000-square foot assisted living facility. Four of the bedrooms already have residents waiting to move from private homes into the facility, which will be able to provide more care than they currently receive. Gates hopes to be able to have an open house at the facility July 10, 11 and 12.