The following article previews of Grand Junction, Colorado are from The Daily Sentinel’s Real Estate Weekly magazine. We like being able to provide our clients and potential clients with local information about what’s happening in the neighborhood areas of Grand Junction, Colorado. For more of each article click the title or link at the end of the preview.
The housing market of 2018 hit several significant milestones throughout the year, including the median price of housing finally surpassing the pre-recession highs early in the year, and the number of building permits issued by the county, (796 through Dec. 26) surpassing the 2008 levels. Although there were still fewer building permits issued in 2018 than what was issued 11 years ago during the peak of the natural gas and housing boom in 2007, the current real estate and housing market is in a much healthier place than it’s been in years.
“Things were strong this year,” said Christi Reece with Coldwell Banker. “There were so many good things happening here.”
The median sales price of a single family home rose to $235,000 through the end of 2018. Rising values and prices are good for existing homeowners, and so far, prices haven’t risen too fast or too far to make it unaffordable for first-time buyers.
“Builders are super-conscious about bringing a reasonably priced product to market,” Reece said. “They’re not over-paying for land.”
There were quite a few new filings of existing subdivisions, as well as entirely new subdivisions brought to the market this year. Many of the new subdivisions are projects that got approved back in the boom days of a dozen years ago, but never saw any action. Granite Falls, which is 52-acre subdivision in the Redlands where new homes are currently under construction, was first proposed in 2007 when it was called Redlands Place.
“This year, they all came back again,” said Scott Peterson, senior planner at the City of Grand Junction. “The subdivisions that were approved back in the boom but never materialized are all coming back now.”
There are a large number of construction projects underway or in planning stages in the city, where the city has built the infrastructure to handle growth and properties that have sat vacant or underutilized are getting attention.
“This building has been sitting too long,” said Brad Humphrey, who purchased 701 Main St. with a business partner, Rob Hanson, less than two months ago. “We decided to refurbish it and get it back on the market.”
The building has been vacant for about a decade, ever since the Cabaret Dinner Theatre closed its doors. When the owner listed the building for sale, Humphrey and Hanson made an offer on the first day it was listed.
“There were three offers on the first day,” Humphrey said. “We wanted to take care of these old buildings.”
The two partners hired Jim Jenson to act as the general contractor for the renovation. Improvements are designed to accommodate a restaurant user, and include a large grease interceptor and improved plumbing for sinks and bars. The outdoor space would make a great covered dining area, and the investors are installing roll-up glass doors that would blend the indoor and outdoor spaces together. When finished, their site will have 5,000 square feet of indoor space and 2,000 square feet of outdoor space.
There’s activity on nearby vacant lots to the east and to the southwest of 701 Main Street, with property owners beginning discussions with city planners for apartments, office space and additional retail spaces. Both proposals are in early stages, which means plans could change drastically before a shovel hits the ground.
A few blocks south, the building at 630 S. Seventh Street is listed for sale with Ray Rickard. The building has been vacant since StarTek relocated to North Avenue in 2012. The building is within one of seven designated opportunity zones in Grand Junction, which are federal designations that give tax incentives to new businesses in the zones.
The commercial real estate market has been slower to recover from the Great Recession than the residential market, which is typical, according to many local commercial brokers. Many commercial transactions are more complex, with a higher price tag than a typical 2,000-square foot home, and commercial deals often take years to work out the details, especially when there is significant remodeling that needs to be done to an existing building or new construction of a larger building on vacant land that may involve multiple tenants.
“Retail hasn’t come around and oil and gas hasn’t either,” said Sid Squirrel with Bray Commercial. “The only thing that’s saved us is companies relocating here because they can’t afford to expand on the Front Range. We’ve seen a lot of people on the residential side for several years, and now we’re seeing it on the business side.”
The City of Grand Junction has been working closely with the Grand Junction Economic Partnership to bring Las Colonias Park, and Riverfront at Las Colonias, the business park intended to be a home for local businesses involved in the outdoor recreation industry, to market. Efforts are moving along nicely.
“We’re wrapping up phase one of infrastructure ahead of schedule,” said Greg Caton, city manager of Grand Junction. Phase two construction will start this summer, and should be finished by the spring of 2019. During phase two, there will be additional bathrooms, a boat launch along the Colorado River, a dog park and a festival area.
New homes in the north area continue to sell at a brisk pace, which means buyers often have to write a contract and wait for months for their home to be built.
At Copper Creek North, where Silas and Chris Colman have been building Energy-star certified homes for several years, there are no move-in ready homes available for buyers.
“We’re seven months out,” said Naomi Colman, sales coordinator for Copper Creek Builders. The company is still building in the second filing of its subdivision, and has already sold about half of filing three. In the last year, Colman estimates that the company has built about 40 homes in the unique neighborhood, where some homes are clustered around a small community park.
At Summerhill, which was started more than a decade ago by Bray Development, Porter Homes recently began building homes in the second to last phase of construction.
“We’ve already sold four lots, and we have our Parade home under construction,” said Craig Huckaby, the listing agent for the new homes at Summerhill. There are 19 homes in the current filing, and 21 lots in the final filing.
According to Huckaby, prices are starting in the low to mid-$400s, but average around $480,000. Although Porter Homes can build smaller homes in the neighborhood, and the lots are relatively small, most people are choosing homes that are about 2,100 square feet.
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.