It looks like construction season in many parts of Orchard Mesa, where construction has started on the new, $40 million middle school and where homes continue to be sold as fast as construction companies can build them.
The construction fence and office trailer were installed at the middle school in late July, and the foundation is getting dug and built for the new building, which will be in front of the old building on Unaweep Avenue. The existing school will continue to be used throughout construction of the new school, which is scheduled to be complete by December, 2019.
Construction may disrupt a few schedules and activities, and may impact where parents can pick up and drop off their children. For the most accurate information, check the school’s website.
Although the existing school will be demolished after the new school is built, the building that houses the community swimming pool will not be. It will continue to serve as a city-operated facility and will no longer be a safety issue for the school, since the community pool and the school will no longer share a building.
New homes on Orchard Mesa continue to sell well. Michael Maves with Maves Construction has several homes under construction at Chipeta Heights, east of 29 Road and south of B 1/2, and the developers behind Mountain View Estates are doing infrastructure construction for the next filing.
“We’re doing filing three at Mountain View,” said Rick Wagner, one of the development partners for the neighborhood. “They will all be developed and finished by the end of August.”
Real estate companies renew investment in the valley
In addition to helping residents find a place they want to call home, the local real estate industry has also contributed to the area’s economy in the last few years via construction and remodeling projects. Several companies have purchased and remodeled buildings, signed long-term leases in more visible locations and generally put their money where their mouth is by making significant investments in a new home for their businesses.
Downtown has become a hot spot for real estate offices, starting with Hummel Real Estate’s purchase of its office three years ago, and continuing with the opening of River City Real Estate downtown in 2016, the Mountain Coast Group at Keller Williams’ purchase of a downtown building in 2017 and the relocation of both Coldwell Banker Prime Properties and United Country Real Colorado Properties.
Year in review
A decade ago, Mesa County’s economy and housing market were on the rise, thanks to a natural gas boom that brought jobs, workers and a housing shortage. Builders were frantically building in 2007, with 669 new single family building permits issued, and 2,866 total home sales in 2008. When natural gas prices plummeted at the end of 2008, jobs disappeared, workers began to leave, and plans for new subdivisions were put on hold.
The real estate market began a steady dive, bottoming out in 2010, when there were 179 new home starts and only 1,696 homes sold. Sales of existing homes started to pick back up in 2011, along with the number of new housing starts. The growth was slow, however, with small increases in property values, the total number of homes sold and the number of new housing starts. The Front Range boomed, while the Mesa County housing market seemed to crawl.
Fast forward to 2017. The market found its legs and began to run, with more than 3,500 sales through November and 664 new housing permits through Dec. 27.
Trail Edge Townhomes is the first residential development built to take advantage of the recreational opportunities available at Las Colonias Park, including access to the Colorado Riverfront Trail, the disc golf course, and the amphitheater. There will be 14 units total. Ray Rickard with RE/MAX 4000 is the listing agent for the development.
PENNY STINE/ Real Estate Weekly