Expanding Housing Choices in Downtown Grand Junction
Grand Junction, Colorado | Completed 2015
Grand Junction, Colorado has a great Main Street corridor. It provides a rich retail environment and numerous places for people to gather and interact. From exemplary streetscape to vibrant events, the downtown has a lot going for it. But most days, it shuts down early. The vibrancy and vitality of the downtown is limited; this is largely because not enough people live in or around the downtown area.
The Downtown Development Authority(DDA) and the City of Grand Junction brought Community Builders in to help understand their downtown housing issue, create ideas and strategies, and as a result, inspire a 24/7 vibrancy in the downtown.
In order to increase housing options, we broke the process into four components: understanding the situation, understanding the market, identifying and experimenting with different housing development types(including identifying opportunity sites, housing design concepts, and financial feasibility), and lastly, creating a downtown housing strategy with clear and long-term steps.
With surveys and an analysis of market data, we were able to understand the demand for downtown housing. A project advisory committee composed of DDA staff, City staff, community members, realtors, and developers was also assembled. We helped this group develop criteria for developing opportunity sites and experiment with different housing types at these locations. The goal was not only to identify financially feasible projects for those sites, but to create models that could be used in similar sites around the downtown.
In result of this process, the DDA and City walked away with an increased understanding of the importance of expanding housing choices. This knowledge carried over to the DDA’s updated Plan of Development—a project also lead by Community Builders. Further, a developer in Grand Junction has begun development of one of the opportunity sites identified in this project. The site is currently in process.