The Grand Junction City Council adopted an ordinance at its Wednesday meeting authorizing the sale of the Dos Rios property to a developer, a major step in the years-long effort to revitalize that area of the riverfront.

Over the past year the city has begun to install infrastructure, including park elements like the bicycle playground. However, it was still working through the process of selling the property to the interested developer DR DEVCO LLC.

Since the fall of 2020, the city and the developer have pushed back the closing on the property as the developer performed due diligence and brought on another partner. With the purchase and sale agreement now approved unanimously by the City Council, an initial closing for about half the property is set for May 12, 2021, according to City Attorney John Shaver.

The sale of the property has been split into two closings with the second closing, which would cover the remaining property, taking place by May 12, 2024. However, that closing could happen sooner if the developer wants to push it up.

There is some technical work that remains to be done before the closing can occur, according to Shaver.

“The purchaser is continuing to refine its plan and the legal description of one of the parcels (Lot 6) will need to be amended,” Shaver said in an email. “When the development plan is complete an exhibit to the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) will be incorporated into the PSA and a replat of Lot 6 will be filed.”

City Council Members said they were glad to see the sale moving forward. Mayor Duke Wortmann said outside the meeting that the project would clean up a key section of the city.

“It’s fantastic,” Wortmann said. “From the city’s standpoint, we’re turning something that was a junkyard and one of the entrances to the city and we’re turning it into a new development with rooftops and commercial and light industrial, says it all. That’s the goal of the city to turn blight into taxable ground and a great place to live.”

The plan for the riverside development has changed in recent months with the Council approving an additional $1 million to install more infrastructure, including significant park space.

“Relating back to that planning effort … the new developer that came to the project had a vision for more access to the river, a lot more open space, about 35,000 square feet of open space. A central green it is called,” Shaver said at a council meeting in early March.

Work on the initial infrastructure is continuing at Dos Rios and is expected to be completed this spring.

The new park infrastructure will be designed by the developer and the city will have until the end of 2022 to complete construction of that aspect of the project.