It seems like everywhere you turn in Grand Junction, new stores and new shopping centers are popping up. But with the national economy on the down, what does the future hold for commercial development in our area?
A sign that reads "restaurant and retail space available" along Highway 6 & 50; a new shopping center nearly complete on 1st and Patterson; phase three of the Canyon View Marketplace on 24 Road now leasing -- developers say while growth is slow across much of the country, there are a few scattered hot spots where it's booming.
"That's kind of where Grand Junction falls," said Mark McPherson of Equity Ventures Commercial Development. "It's unquestionably one of the better performing markets."
McPherson's company has built multiple shopping centers in Grand Junction. He says while a lot of specialty and luxury stores are at a stand still when it comes to buying new real estate, he has had no trouble filling centers with other businesses.
"We've really got a wide variety of guys from clothing to wireless to banking," said McPherson. "We're seeing a lot of quick serve, lunch oriented, fast casual type tenants."
The City of Grand Junction Planning Department says even in the midst of a slumping national economy, it's issued roughly the same number of commercial planning clearances as it did last year. Officials do say, however, new shopping centers aren't going up quite like they used to.
"We're seeing more additions, more remodels, that sort of thing," said Greg Moberg, Planning Service Supervisor for the City of Grand Junction.
He says in some cases developers are having more trouble filling their lots than in previous years.
"We're not seeing a lot of tenant finishes in the Orchard Mesa area where we have a couple of strip centers," said Moberg.
But he says centers in more centralized locations are a different story.
"Corner Square on First and Patterson does have a lot of tenant finishes that are occurring right now," said Moberg."
"We do not just build buildings necessarily to build buildings," said McPherson. "We like to build buildings for tenants."
With booming oil and gas, health, and retail industries, officials say the future of commercial development in our area is bright.
"I think we'll see a little bit of a slowdown," said Moberg. "But we don't feel the same pressures as other areas."
Developers say you can expect to see more stores popping up in the near future. McPherson's company is already leasing out space in its newest development along 24 Road, which is expected to open sometime in late 2009.
The company constructing Corner Squares says Grand Valley residents will soon be able to enjoy new restaurants, a new deli, a new Enstrom's store, and a new dentist's office.