It may still be cold and wintry outside, but the Grand Valley's commercial real estate market is heating up nicely, with vacant land sales, long-empty buildings changing hands and coming back into tax rolls, new money coming into the Grand Valley and local investors and businesses moving forward with plans to build and expand. Investors are looking for opportunities, and aren't afraid to move quickly when they find the right one.

"My phone is ringing off the hook," said Sam Suplizio, who is the listing agent for a fast-food building on Horizon Drive that used to be home to a Burger King franchise. "I'm getting unbelievable interest in it."

The interest is there because of the location, which is right off the Interstate 70 interchange, and the drive-through. Listed for more than $1.5 million, the property isn't cheap, but according to Suplizio, that's the price of doing business at a prime location on Horizon Drive.

"Decades go by before another opportunity like this comes up," he said.

Investors and businesses are recognizing that other locations represent prime opportunity, as well, which is why Golden Gate Petroleum is opening a second Grand Valley location at 24 Road and G Road, developers are continuing to move forward on a commercial project called Rivertown Center on Patterson west of 26 Road, and why locals like John and Heather Poovey are planning two modern, technologically advanced self-storage facilities in Grand Junction on Riverside Parkway and in Fruita on the south side of Interstate 70. The Pooveys and their business partners also purchased a historical building in downtown Grand Junction at 601 Pitkin that they hope to bring back to life.

"It's a really neat old building," said Poovey, who purchased the building in October, 2018. "Looking ahead five to 10 years, we think that's an area that has potential for good growth, and trying to save a piece of downtown history is important to me."

Another old downtown building at Sixth and Colorado is under contract with a new user, as the former business, Drive Train Industries, was purchased by Inland Truck Parts, an independent, aftermarket parts and service company for Class A trucks with more than 40 locations across the country.

After purchasing Drive Train Industries, Inland Truck Parts went shopping for a new Grand Valley location that would allow it to expand its services. The company bought the building at 2192 H Road, spent four months remodeling it, and moved into the new facility in January.

Dale Beede has been part of the ownership group at Rivertown Center (formerly known as Patterson Place, 2570 Patterson Road) for six years. The goal has always been to create a different type of commercial development, and although the partners haven't enjoyed the delays due to title issues and other problems, the delay has given them time to tweak the plans in hopes of bringing something brand new to the market.

"We get one chance to do it right," said Beede, who hopes to begin pre-leasing for phase one soon. Infrastructure construction, including high speed internet for all tenants, is ongoing, and vertical construction may start sometime in the summer.

Land and lots that have been for sale for years have recently been sold, put under contract or are receiving serious consideration from investors. Recently purchased or contracted parcels include 734 Main St., a large parcel of land near 24 Road and Market Street, and an even larger parcel of land off G Road between 24 Road and 23 Road. Continue reading Real Estate Weekly to get more details as projects are planned and built.

Other commercial projects that have been months or years in construction or planning are winding down. The Lodge at Grand Junction, an assisted living facility operated by Wellage, is getting closer to its opening in April or May.

Stop & Save, the locally owned gas station/convenience store headquartered here in Grand Junction, opened its brand new station on Horizon in January after completely tearing down the older, smaller Stop & Save at the same location.

The 37,000 square foot office building at Corner Square, which had been a large hole in the ground for about 10 years, is also scheduled to be complete something in late spring.

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