City to revamp North Avenue corridor

By: Alicia Gentile Email
By: Alicia Gentile Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) North Avenue is getting a makeover and the City of Grand Junction revealed the reconstruction plan Wednesday night at a public open house.

Roger Sollenbarger and his wife own the Redcliff Pointe Shopping Center at 28 Road and North Avenue.

The couple worked very hard to upgrade their property and they wish the rest of the North Avenue Corridor would be upgraded as well.

“We would love it if everybody else would do the same thing and some properties have really gone down over the years," said Sollenbarger.

Now the Sollenbarger's hope is a reality as the City of Grand Junction rolled out the design plan to renovate the North Avenue Corridor. A 1.19 million dollar federal grant will fund improvements from 12th to 23rd. Some improvements include, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and pedestrian access to businesses along the road, which the city describes as a 'Complete Street.'

“A complete street is one that you'll come to, you'll park, maybe eat dinner then walk to a business that's nearby to shop,” said Paul Jagim, the Project Engineer for the City of Grand Junction.

The North Avenue Owners Association was at the open house and presented their plan for funding the rest of the street.

“Today we're rolling out the urban renewal plan and we've been working on it for quite some time," said Kevin Bray of NAOA.

The Urban Renewal Plan will contribute toward the city's ‘Complete Street Project’ and is a way to get some funding to the rest of North Avenue through TIF or Tax Increment Financing.

“TIF financing is something we can get from a future tax increment on the corridor. It's not a new tax and it goes towards paying for these improvements to happen sooner than later," said Bray.

The city still has to approve the Urban Renewal Plan, but Sollenbarger is happy steps are being made to makeover the street.

“We would like to see some money spent of North Avenue instead of everywhere else," said Sollenbarger.

The Urban Renewal Plan is one of the only financing tools that will ensure long term financing for North Avenue to maintain the area. In the 1980's Downtown Grand Junction started an Urban Renewal Plan and it was very successful.

Levi Lucero, the man who is working on changing North Avenue to University Blvd, says he has made progress with petitions from businesses in favor of the change, 88% have signed a petition.

The City will begin construction from12th to 23 Road by the end of 2014 to early 2015.

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