This article was originally published in The Daily Sentinel on November 20, 2022.

Our local economy is strengthened through the relationship between our public partners and the private sector. Beautiful things happen throughout our community when these two entities come together in a shared vision.

Today we are seeing shining examples of these partnerships in action as we continue to expand economic development efforts in the Grand Junction area. Thirty-five years ago, the City of Grand Junction embarked on a mission to turn our community’s riverfront from a blighted property into a community asset. This project began with the vision of Las Colonias and a drastic cleanup of the area. Since the inception of this vision, the site has seen increased business activity, some of the biggest names in entertainment perform at the amphitheater, and plenty of exciting community events.

Neighboring the Las Colonias area, we begin to see emerging activity for the Riverfront at Dos Rios as the revitalization and reactivation of our riverfront continues. This 67-acre development will include access to the river, trail system, and downtown. The City of Grand Junction envisions the area as a vibrant neighborhood, home to new business, and a catalyst for private reinvestment.

Last month, our community celebrated development at Dos Rios with a ribbon cutting for the city’s involvement and groundbreaking for new private development. This celebration served as a handoff between public and private involvement for the project with the city’s development of the infrastructure and park. Developers working on the property, May Reigler Properties, plan to install over 35,000 square feet of retail, food, and beverage space on the property, as well as housing.

In Downtown Grand Junction, it was recently announced that the old City Market building was scheduled for demolition in December after the property was vacant for nearly four years. The developer, Richmark Companies, plans to turn the site into a 256-unit apartment complex known as The Junction and will be working with a local contractor, Shaw Construction.

This public / private partnership includes $2.4 million through the City of Grand Junction in impact fee waivers and the city’s purchase and upgrade of the Rood Avenue right of way at the site. Additionally, the Downtown Development Authority will also contribute $3.5 million over ten years to the project.

And on the east end of the valley, Mesa County has begun moving toward the revitalization of Clifton. The Clifton Community Campus recently broke ground and will serve residents by promoting a better quality of life through accessible services and resources. The campus will provide early childhood education and training, a community center, town hall, and the Clifton Library.

Additionally, Marillac Health plans to open a new healthcare center as part of the new Clifton Community Development. This new development will provide medical, dental, pharmacy, and behavioral health services for the Clifton, Fruitvale, and Palisade areas, previously considered a “healthcare desert”.

As part of this revitalization, Mesa County has identified several sites within the area that will be open for private investment in the coming years. This project is part of a larger vision to reactivate the area and provide additional services for families living in the community.

In Palisade, Community Hospital and the Town of Palisade celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Grand Valley Primary and Acute Care clinic this fall. The facility will replace the old Palisade High School building that has been vacant for over 25 years. The clinic will be 6,700 square feet upon completion and will provide access to a variety of primary care and acute care services. Funding for this project has been a collaborative effort between Mesa County, the State of Colorado, the Town of Palisade, and the Community Hospital.

Across the valley, we are seeing these projects come to fruition. Many of these developments started with a vision to take aspects of our community that were neglected and transform them into assets that improve the quality of life and spur economic development. Through the partnership of public and private entities, our community benefits from stronger infrastructure, more housing opportunities, and increased support services.

At the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, we are fortunate to witness the collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors. The work of these partnerships allows our community to become more competitive and attractive for businesses relocating or expanding within the area.

Economic diversification allows us to become more stable with stronger infrastructure and more primary jobs. This growth creates more opportunities for individuals within our community and allows for a higher standard of living.

Learn more about how the Grand Junction Economic Partnership helps bridge the gap between public and private entities at