A housing development that is adding 44 new townhomes to Grand Junction is receiving a boost on its last phase from an opportunity zone investment.
The Sundance Village Townhomes — between 24½ and 25 roads along Zenith and Mesa Canyon lanes on the northern side of Grand Junction — already has 22 townhomes nearly ready for residents. But thanks to an investment from Parsonex Properties, the final 22 will be up and running within a year, according to Senergy Builders managing member Darin Carei.
“It’s very crucial to having it done all at one time,” Carei said of the investment. “We were building at a pace that would have taken one-and-a-half to two years, and we’ll have it completed in a year.”
Parsonex Properties is a financial services company with about $300 million in assets under its management. It is based in Englewood on the Front Range.
This is the first opportunity zone investment for the company, but it has invested in other housing projects outside of the zones. Parsonex invested $2 million of its opportunity fund in this project.
“When the opportunity zone legislation came out, we saw it as a good opportunity to enter into the fund space,” Parsonex Properties President Shane Phillips said.
Opportunity zones were part of the 2017 federal tax reform bill as a provision meant to spur investment and development in underserved areas where at least 20% of the population lives in poverty. The zones allow investors to defer capital gains taxes if they reinvest the profits or real estate sales into the zones. The taxes can be waived after 10 years. Mesa County has seven opportunity zone tracts with six in the Grand Junction area.
Phillips said he heard positive things about Grand Junction and the company was looking for other markets outside of Denver in which to invest. He said he was eager to help bring a project to the area that would help a community that is in need of more housing.
“We thought about doing something positive for the community,” Phillips said.
The townhomes will be 1,300 square-foot, three-bedroom units that include a single car garage. Senergy Builders focuses on building Energy Star-approved homes that come with lower utility costs for residents. Carei said utility costs can be as low as $75. Energy Star is a program run by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy to promote energy efficiency.
The second phase of development, with work already underway, held an official groundbreaking celebration Saturday. The 22 new townhomes will serve as rental properties, Phillips said.
Senergy Builders has worked on the project since 2018 and began discussions with Parsonex in late 2019.
“We’ve been moving quickly and are excited to be part of it. It’s unique and I think this is a great product for the Grand Junction rental market,” Carei said.
Grand Junction Economic Partnership Executive Director Robin Brown said she’s glad to see investment such as this leading to new housing in the area.
“We need housing. This is great,” she said.
Opportunity zones are attracting investors from both inside and outside the Grand Valley, she added, which is also good for the Grand Valley.
“We are seeing local developers take advantage and seeing a lot of interest from out of the area,” she said. “We like developers. If Front Rangers want to come invest, we’re happy to see that too.”