The commercial real estate market is humming right now, with new users, new investors, new construction and lots of redevelopment of existing spaces in multiple places across the Grand Valley.
“People are really seeing the city’s commitment to downtown and the riverside connection,” said Brian Bray with Bray Real Estate, who recently sold a building on S. Seventh Street, between Main Street and Riverside Parkway.
“My wife liked the area down there,” said Allen Akey, who purchased the restaurant building at 811 S. Seventh with his wife, Lena Combs. “She thinks it’s going to be an upcoming, growing area.”
Akey and his wife will do an extensive remodel of the existing building, but hope to open their new breakfast and lunch restaurant, named Sunrise, by the first of the year.
Although there are commercial projects elsewhere, downtown is generating both buzz and dollars, as end users and investors revamp older buildings in hopes of generating more business and opportunities.
“I’ve always wanted to open my own bar, and more than anything, it came down to timing,” said Tim Babbitt, who is opening the Feisty Pint bar at restaurant at 359 Colorado Ave.
“It’s more of a neighborhood pub,” Babbitt said about the soon-to-open business.
Babbitt has already hired key people, who are hiring other staff members. He hopes to have the establishment open by December 1.
The city planning office is currently working with another property owner who hopes to open a brewpub on S. Second Street.
Pitkin Avenue is also seeing redevelopment with an office building at Sixth and Pitkin changing hands and getting attention from new owners, and the office building at Second and Pitkin also getting a makeover.
“It was attractive, it was downtown,” said Tony Englbrecht, one of the partners in the building at 215 Pitkin Ave., “and it was a free-standing building with it’s own parking. Downtown growth is heading south with the new hotel and renovations at the train depot.”
The historic former train depot’s owner, Dustin Anzures, is in discussion with prospective tenants, as well as contractors and tradespeople, to create the best use of the historic Grand Junction Depot building.
“We want to do the very best job we can,” Anzures said, who is looking for a local restaurant tenant to make a commitment on the location prior to finalizing plans on the building.
“We have high hopes of doing something with this building,” Anzures said, “creating something that doesn’t currently exist in the Grand Valley — a historic, landmark building that’s been repurposed. We want ours to be a happy place.”
Anzures also hopes the depot will get a safer and more pedestrian-friendly connection to Main Street and the rest of downtown when CDOT finalizes its plans for the Pitkin curve at First and Pitkin. He believes that a more pedestrian-friendly route would bring train visitors who are passing through on the California Zephyr into the more established parts of downtown. Of course, he’d also like to create great experiences for them should they decide to hang out at the Grand Junction Depot.