Downtown housing survey under way

A survey is under way to assess the demand for different types of housing in downtown Grand Junction.

The survey is part of an effort to identify the best development strategies for market rate housing in the area, said Harry Weiss, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Encouraging additional housing downtown and in turn supporting businesses there remains a priority for the organization, Weiss said.

“This survey will take a close look at the trends that are driving new markets for housing in Grand Junction,” Weiss said. “Building upon the housing needs and preferences determined in the survey, a market analysis will be used to assess demand for different types of downtown housing. The findings from this analysis will be used to identify development strategies for market-rate housing in downtown Grand Junction and presented in a downtown housing strategy report.”

The Downtown Development Authority will work with the Sonoran Institute, a nonprofit organization, in conducting print and online surveys of downtown residents and employees. Print versions of the survey will be available through the DDA, downtown businesses and select residences.

The survey is available online at http://survey.rrcresearch.com/s3/GJD-Housing and through a link on the DDA website located at www.downtowngj.org.

Responses to print and online surveys will be collected through Dec. 20.

An advisory committee comprised of people with experience in real estate, development and planning, also is helping with the project.

Jennifer Hill with the Glenwood Springs office of the Sonoran Institute said there’s an important relationship between housing and the vitality of downtowns. “Strong downtowns need housing. It gets feet — and eyes — on the street and increases vitality in the area, which is good for business.”

That aligns with growing demand for housing in downtown areas, Hill said. “A growing segment of the market wants to live downtown. We’ve seen this nationally for awhile. And in our own research, we found the same trend is occurring in communities in the Rocky Mountain West.”