Historic buildings part of new plan for downtown housing

Published: Jan. 13, 2017 at 7:56 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A developer has been chosen to renovate and build on the old R-5 school property.

A company out of California, who also has offices in Durango, is taking on the project.

The District 51 School Board sold the old R-5 school to the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) in June of last year. Now, a developer has been chosen and is making plans for the property.

The DDA signed a letter of intent with a company called REgeneration Development Strategies.

“The ground floor will have flexible commercial space. Some of it might be live and work, some of it might be amenities for the building,” said Jeremy Nelson – President of REgenerations Redevelopment Strategies.

There are also plans for White Hall, which will be 30-40 smaller urban apartments.

"Having more housing in downtown helps create economic vitality for downtown, more people downtown for shopping and activities," said Brandon Stam, the executive director of the Downtown Development Authority. "It drives more economic development."

The R-5 property will include 50-74 town home units.

Many were worried about what will happen to the historical R-5 building in this process.

“The vision is definitely not to tear down R-5. I think he [the developer] sees value in that,” said Stam. "Doing a redevelopment, you capitalize on really cool historic aspects."

“We are trying to build housing for normal people that are looking to move from renting to owning a home, willing to trade having a smaller unit size for the ability to live downtown and have access to all the charms of downtown in Grand Junction,” Nelson said.

Nelson said the old R-5 building will be rehabilitated into a residential loft with 16 units.

With the opportunity for new businesses to move in, they hope to spark economic development for the city.

“We will seek uses that compliment downtown, rather than compete with Main Street business,” said Nelson. "We are betting on Grand Junction and continue revitalization of downtown and we think its good bet."

All of these projects are scheduled to be completed in three to five years and will be built in phases. Developers plan to redo the old R-5 building as part of the final phase.