New businesses breathe new life into west end of Grand Junction

By: Cecile Juliette Email
By: Cecile Juliette Email

The area around Patterson and 24 Roads has been a popular place to shop in the last few years, home to places like Home Depot, Mesa Mall, Fisher's Liquor Barn, and a host of other retail options.

But just a few blocks west, the Mesa Village Shopping Center has had a lower profile. Subway moved into the building in the last year, but it failed to gather a lot of attention. Another business owner says he's invested into two local stores that have gone largely unnoticed.

But that's all changed.

In the last month, City Market opened to spectacular fanfare and excitement at the corner of 24 and Patterson Roads, raising the level of interest in shopping at the west end of Patterson.

This week, Cafe Rio, a popular Salt Lake City eatery, opened it's second Colorado location at the corner space of the Mesa Village Shopping Center, just yards away from the drive leading up to City Market.

Tuesday, the day of the Cafe Rio's grand opening, the parking lot was packed for lunch. Eric Landis, owner of Oak Tree Furniture and All Sound Designs, says the foot traffic into his two stores increased immensely.

Landis says, "I wanted to be by the mall so people could see us, we've been here two years and no one knows we're here."

Landis is a Grand Junction native. He says he didn't know these new businesses would be moving into his area, but he's excited to watch the growth. He says, "this building was considered one of the wasted spaces in Grand Junction area. The building has never been vibrant, it's never been live."

On Tuesday, Redlands resident John Merachin and a friend stopped in to have lunch at Cafe Rio, and noticed All Sound Designs around the corner. Merachin says he had never noticed the store before, even though he lived and worked in the area. Merachin said he makes it a point to shop at local businesses, and he's excited to find more shopping options close to home. He says "it's convenient, it's close, kind of a critical mass. I get what I need without running all over town."

Landis wants to see his two businesses flourish, and he's banking on the fact that Cafe Rio will energize the tiny Mesa Village Shopping Center that he has invested so much in. He says, "we've got some real energy, this building is finally being used to it's potential."

Another local business owner in the area says the growth will continue. He says two more national chains are scouting the real estate near 24 Road and are weighing their options.

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  • by john Location: Fruita on Jan 6, 2011 at 07:01 PM
    Nice point about the annex... If you don't like driving to shop, then move!! Its your choice where you live!!
  • by Lynn Location: Fruitvale on Jan 6, 2011 at 01:22 PM
    I would love to see some attention on the east side as well, but am actually just hoping City Market doesn't close the store out here and leave US hanging like they did all the people within the city limits.
  • by Nun Location: Grand Junction on Jan 6, 2011 at 12:51 PM
    These "new business" do nothing to improve our local economy. They simply serve to recirculate existing dollars while goverment siphons off its share with taxes. In fact a large portion of the revenues these types of business gather are exported to pay for supplies and franchise fees. What we need is industry that brings new money into the valley from outside our borders. Manufacturing, increased oil and gas development are the types of business that improve our local economy and create jobs with middle income wages.
  • by Barbara Location: Fruitvale on Jan 6, 2011 at 08:14 AM
    When can we get some businesses attracted to the east side. I hate driving the 5 miles to shop, buy hardware, or clothing.
  • by anchorman Location: Grand Junction on Jan 6, 2011 at 05:59 AM
    While the city and business focus on the west end, they have completely ignored the east end. 20th Street east on into Fruitvale is deteriorating and no new businesses of significance are planned. The increasing number of vacant buildings have become indicative of the city and chamber of commerce's lack of concern for this blighted area. City services in this area have become shoved to the back burner. Was this because residents voted not to be annexed?
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