There have been a number of new housing developments in the last dozen years on Orchard Mesa as more people are discovering that it’s a great place to live. With a golf course, nearby hiking trails, proximity to the river and good connectivity to the rest of the Grand Valley, new developments are seeing steady sales in spite of the 2020 pandemic.

“We currently have three homes under construction,” said Jill Ruckman, the listing agent for CTR Homes, which has plans to build 20 homes at Orchard Park, near 29 1/2, north of Highway 50. The first three homes are sold, but CTR hopes to begin four more as soon as they have the building permits. If the contractor gets the permits within the next week, those homes could be finished and ready for homeowners to occupy by mid-fall.

“Our goal is to keep prices attainable,” said Ruckman.

The homes are all ranch-style, with three and four-bedroom plans, ranging from 1,400 to 1,700 square feet. Prices are starting at $285,000 for three-bedroom homes.

Ruckman would like to have a grand opening, as well as an open house for the neighborhood, but plans are on hold due to health concerns.

CTR is also working with city planners on an adjacent parcel of land, Orchard Estates, where it hopes to develop more than 40 home lots.

Maves Construction has been building homes at Chipeta Estates since 2017, and there are only four lots left in the 31-home development. There are several homes under construction right now, but only one is available; the remaining ones are pre-sold. The available home at 2941 Athena, should be finished by the end of September, but those who are interested shouldn’t wait until then to take a tour.

“We are getting multiple showings on the house,” said Jessica Holt with the Maves Group at Coldwell Banker.

Other larger neighborhoods that have had new home construction for more than a dozen years may start seeing the end of new construction on the horizon. Jay Fellhauer with RE/MAX Two Rivers, who has been the listing agent for the developer at Spyglass Ridge since the developer first brought it to market, said there are just 15 of the original 225 lots remaining at Spyglass Ridge.

“There are six lots on top, on the ledge overlooking the Gunnison River,” Fellhauer said. “They’re some of the best lots in the project.”

Lot prices for the remaining developer-owned lots range from $39,900 to $69,900, making them some of the most affordable lots in the valley.

In addition to the remaining developer-owned lots, there are also resale lots at Spyglass Ridge, and because the first homes were built more than a decade ago, there are usually a few resale homes, too.

In addition to the amazing views that many of the homes at Spyglass enjoy thanks to the naturally terraced terrain, the development also has walking trails, a community center with meeting rooms and an outdoor swimming pool, and a private dog park.

Mesa Estates, a development off the Highway 50 frontage road near 28 1/2 Road, has had a couple of different owners, with various builders who have built homes and who are continuing to build in the neighborhood. Throughout its decades-long build out, all of the builders have adhered to the architectural guidelines established by the developer to use tile on the roofs, with stucco exteriors. The HOA has also meticulously managed the common areas, as well as all of the front yards of the homes, and the result is a neighborhood that looks better now than it did when it was first brought to market, thanks to more mature landscape and continual care.

Jen Pedersen with Coldwell Banker is listing six of the remaining vacant lots for sale, with prices ranging from $58,000 to $62,500.

Five Star Development is currently working with city planners to develop 19 acres of vacant land near the Orchard Mesa City Market to build 120 building lots for a neighborhood it’s calling Fairview Glen. The development is in early stages, and is currently working through the annexation process. The goal of the partners behind the development is to bring reasonably priced homes to the market.

The commercial real estate market on Orchard Mesa remains slow, with little activity. O’Reilly’s Auto Parts is still hoping to build a new store where the former Landmark Realty building is on Highway 50, but the initial construction bids were too high. The company just got the second round of bids back and has yet to determine whether or not it will make financial sense to build.

“There are hazardous conditions on the site,” said Steven McNally with O’Reilly’s. “We hope to make a decision in the near future.”

Although commercial activity on Orchard Mesa is slow, recreational activity, at least at Chipeta Golf Course, has been steady throughout the spring and summer. Staff members say the course has been a little busier than normal, with more monthly pass sales.

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