The residential real estate market has been operating at full speed ahead for the last several years, but it's taken a little bit longer for the commercial market to regain its footing following the natural gas pullback and the Great Recession. Anyone driving down any major street across most areas of the Grand Valley has seen construction cranes, bulldozers, and workers in hard hats and yellow vests, which is a good sign that commercial real estate activity and construction has also recovered.
Many of the projects are in-town redevelopment projects, which is great, since that means investors are either remodeling existing buildings to turn them into something new, putting a patch of vacant land back into business with new construction, or tearing down old, inadequate buildings to make better use of the space.
There are two new assisted living facilities currently under construction. Downtown Assisted Living Suites is an innovative project undertaken by local real estate professional Matt Telinde. Where others saw an eyesore on the corner of First and White where the Value Lodge Motor Inn used to operate, Telinde saw opportunity. Although it's taken a bit longer than anticipated, the assisted living facility is under construction, and scheduled to open this summer. There are 45 private rooms, with a grand ballroom that will function as a communal living area. There's also a dining room where residents can gather for meals. There will be 16 total staff members, with two registered nurses on staff.
The Lodge, at Eighth Court and Patterson, is also under construction on a large lot where there was just one single-family home. The Lodge will have both assisted living and a memory care unit. Construction has just begun at the Lodge, and it is scheduled to be complete later in the year or sometime in 2019.
On North Avenue, there are a couple of redevelopment projects, including the Vault, a real estate co-working building at 2755 North Avenue. Like the old motel on First Street, the building fell into disrepair after remaining vacant for several years when the last user moved on to better prospects. Rather than tear it down, Telinde and business partner, Scott Schindelar, decided to turn it into a high-tech space for professionals who work in the real estate industry, but may not be Realtors. Current tenants include drafting, property management, bookkeeping, construction, insurance and mortgage professionals. The building is about 50 percent leased, so there is availability for interested professionals who are looking for a place to call home.
To the east, the building at 2897 North Avenue sold to an investor, who plans to tear the well-used building down and replace it with two or three new retail pads. There is room for a fueling station on the three-acre site, which used to house the Mesa County Workforce Center. Dale Beede with Coldwell Banker is the leasing agent.
Closer to Colorado Mesa University, a stand-alone Starbucks is under construction where the greenhouse that was attached to the former Johnson's House of Flowers used to be at 1350 North Ave. Another Starbucks is in planning stages for the southwest corner of First Avenue and Main Street.
On Patterson, ANB Bank is building a new branch on the southeast corner of 12th and Patterson to replace its very busy branch on the southwest corner of 12th and Patterson.
"We just want to make it better for our customers," said Vance Wagner with ANB. The existing branch at 12th and Patterson is one of the busiest branches in the company, and the company decided to take a leap of faith and create a space that was more modern and bright, with meeting rooms, check writing stands, a walk-up ATM, drive-up lanes and better parking.
At Corner Square, a 10-year old development at First and Patterson, the enormous hole in the ground that sits between McAllister's and Walgreen's is getting filled with construction equipment and activity. A new building will soon follow.
Asbestos mitigation continues on two more homes further west on Patterson before demolition work can begin for Patterson Place, a retail/multi-use development that's been in the works for years. Expect to read more about it in the coming issues of Real Estate Weekly as construction begins.
Construction continues at Home 2 Suites by Hilton, the latest hotel to be built on the 24 Road corridor. The 91-room extended stay hotel should be complete by the end of the year.
Construction recently began on the downtown Hilton Tru, a 92-room, five-story hotel at 243 Colorado Ave. being built by brothers Kevin and Steve Reimer, who own three other downtown hotels.
"The economy is pretty good, as I can attest to in trying to find subcontractors; everyone has a lot of work on their plate," Kevin said.
According to Reimer, Hilton Tru has a millennial vibe, with a contemporary look and a larger lobby with more activity. Reimer hopes the new hotel will be open in May, 2019.
Infrastructure construction has begun at the Riverfront at Las Colonias, the business park on the east end of Grand Junction's newest park. The business park demonstrates a unique partnership between the city and local area businesses, and promoters hope it will be a big draw for other outdoor recreation manufacturers.