GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Main Street’s makeover is more than new sidewalks and streets.
Business owners are fueling big changes. They’re investing millions, and despite a tough economy, creating new jobs and giving you more choices for shopping, dining and sleeping.
Downtown is the focus on an 11 News Special Report series “Building Business.”
We are just week away from witnessing the Uplift unveiling on the west end of Main Street. After the dust settles, a new crew will stake out 3rd and Main to make way for a new Marriot Spring Hill Suites.
"After months and months, we got the green light to build and we will begin breaking ground in 60 to 90 days,” says Kevin Reimer, owner of the hotel.
A bad economy threatened the project, but Reimer and his brother searched and searched until finally securing financing for the $9 million, 12 month project.
The design is contemporary and will stand five stories tall. It includes retail space and will provide new jobs for 25 to 30 people.
With the addition of more rooms on Main Street Reimer says it will be easier to lure large groups to the convention center.
Also planned, a top-to-bottom transformation of the hotel right across the street.
This November, Main Street Suites is undergoing a $1.2 million facelift.
"We're going to re-badge it as a Marriot or Hilton. It'll have all new hard goods, carpets, bathrooms and front lobby,” Reimer says.
"We see Grand Junction's revitalization and wanted to be a part of it," says Margie Wilson.
She and her husband believe 3rd and Main Street is the perfect place to launch Grand Valley Books, their second store in town and now the newest spot to buy new and used books.
"We also order books, do book research, special orders for book clubs and appraisals on or off site," Wilson says.
The Uplift Construction has made it hard for many businesses but the one’s we spoke with are really optimistic now that it’s coming to an end.
"I don't know if the economy hurt us as much as the street,” says Scott Howard.
He opened Dream Café in the winter, in a struggling economy and in a location facing serious front street access issues.
Despite many hurdles, the restaurant has a designer look, 15 workers and opened to rave reviews.
“We've had lots of positive comments on the food and décor, it couldn't be better” Howard says.
"The building next door became available and those buildings don't come up often. We went from 3000 to 6000 square feet,” says Chris Brown of Brown Cycles.
Brown’s shop is now twice the size it used to be.
The expansion and renovation at his 5th and Main Street location was motivated by low interest rates, a suddenly available building next door and what he says is a local booming cycling industry.
"We've been up every month this year. We broke our record in March even with our doors closed,” Brown says.
With a bigger bike store, a new restaurant, bookstore and hotel remodel and a new one on the horizon, all this growth has created 50 new jobs in Downtown and renewed enthusiasm regarding the future of Main Street.
A few other recent changes Downtown include Irish Pub Naggy McGee’s at 4th and Colorado and Girl Flowers on 6th and Main. Main Street Bagels expanded to North Avenue, also adding new jobs.