The term “neighborhoodly” is new to us, but it does seem to capture the desired transition for Seventh Street south of downtown.

It’s an old industrial/commercial area well-suited for a mixed-use employment and residential environment because it sits between downtown and Las Colonias Park. In fact, the streetscape has already been primed for a more ambitious use of space in the corridor. There are bike lanes, sidewalks, attractive curbing and landscaping. The only thing missing is a residential development to act as a catalyst for investment in the area.

That should change soon as the Grand Junction Planning Commission takes up a rezoning request for the old StarTek property at 630 S. Seventh St. Developer S2E Developments has applied to rezone the property from commercial use to residential with plans to build a 200-unit rental development.

But it’s not a run-of-the-mill proposal. This project is being designed with millennial appeal — on-site solar power and new technology to generate nearly all the energy consumed by tenants, green spaces, community gardens and bike washes.

“We really aim in our communities to make them as neighborhoodly, walkable and green as possible,” S2E Developments Business Development Director Marissa Adelstein told the Sentinel’s Dan West.

“We really focus on bringing attainable green options to the markets we develop in,” Adelstein said. “So for this market after doing a lot of real estate research and analysis on the area we came to understand that apartments, rental units, are in super high demand.”

Filling an in-demand niche is just good business sense, but S2E is the right developer at the right time for seeing a bigger picture. Adelstein said part of the goal of the development is to enhance the entire area.

As a long-time property owner on South Seventh, The Daily Sentinel has more than a passing interest in seeing the area blossom into something more. It’s happening slowly. Get Air, Atlasta Solar, Crossfit Jukejoint, Wet Dreams River Supply, Taqueria Guadalajara and the Sentinel, among others, reflect the potential for business diversity in the corridor, but residential foot traffic between downtown and Las Colonias is the surest commercial incubator. At the same time, there’s enough space and diversity of uses along the corridor for existing businesses to continue to thrive.

Redevelopment seems like an odd thing for the city of Grand Junction to be contemplating at a time when so much is uncertain. Nobody knows how long the COVID-19 interruption is going to last, but the city and potential investors, thankfully, are not letting it hijack all considerations of the future.

We’re just glad the pandemic didn’t sideline this project. Someday it’s going to be considered a transformative development.

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