A goal of the City's 2014 Economic Development Plan ("Plan") is to support existing businesses with and through business improvement and/or expansion initiatives. To that end, the City has created two incentive grant programs available to private entities in order to facilitate development of, or maintain and enhance existing, businesses.
North Avenue Revitalization
The purpose of the North Avenue Commercial Catalyst Grant Program is to stimulate business, new development, redevelopment and pedestrian safety by improving the streetscape and condition of building facades on North Avenue. It is a part of on-going efforts to revitalize North Avenue as a viable commercial corridor.
The City has adopted a North Avenue Corridor Plan that envisions improvements to the physical environment along the street with guidelines that address building location, architectural features, upgraded signing and safer pedestrian facilities and amenities. The Commercial Catalyst Program provides matching grants of up to $10,000 to private property owners and businesses that propose to make such improvements to properties along North Avenue.
Change in use of Downtown Buildings
The City’s Comprehensive Plan recognizes the importance of maintaining and enhancing a strong downtown as being essential for the area’s regional economy. The Plan includes goals that support “the continued development of the downtown area of the City Center into a vibrant and growing area with jobs, housing and tourist attractions” as well as encourage “preservation of historic buildings and their appropriate reuse.”
Due to changing market conditions, downtown Grand Junction is following the trends of downtowns throughout the country from a predominantly retail business environment to an entertainment district, with more of a mix of restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues. As that change occurs, it’s important to be able to reuse the historic building stock for new uses. A significant cost to change the use of a building from office or retail to restaurant is the sewer service plant investment fee (PIF).
The Change in Use Incentive Program helps maintain and enhance the vitality of downtown and encourage the reuse of existing buildings as restaurants by funding 25% of the sewer wastewater PIF up to $10,000.