Commercial real estate activity was busy in Mesa County during the first half of the year. A number of reasons have been cited: the relocation of new businesses to the area, attractive tax incentives, a more business-friendly political climate, better marketing efforts and improving consumer confidence. No one could argue all those things have, to varying degrees, contributed to our improving fortunes.
It’s been my experience, however, that local business owners and investors make things tick in Mesa County. They’ve weathered economic storms. They understand how to do business in this community. And they have the confidence to grow their businesses when the time is right.
Over the past two years, the number of new business tenants entering the market actually has been fairly low. During that time, I’ve worked with four out-of-town business clients relocating to Mesa County. They included an appliance moving company from New Mexico, a cannababidiol oil manufacturer from the Front Range and a Jewish holiday and religious goods supplier. My single Denver buyer was a young motorcycle mechanic who purchased a small industrial property here.
The balance of my clients — about 80 percent to 90 percent — are local and regional buyers, sellers, investors and tenants. There’s been a significant bump in local businesses investing in larger and upgraded facilities as well as locals starting new businesses. Local investors are buying and remodeling properties that have sat vacant for years, and some are spending on new construction.
Here are some highlights from some of the local companies with which I’ve had the pleasure to work. Seek Outside, a 6-year-old tent manufacturer, needed a larger building to lease and grew from 2,000 square feed to 5000 square feet. Barks Stay and Play relocated from a 2,400-square-foot facility to a 4,500-square-foot facility with 4 acres. Two teachers leased space downtown to open a charter high school. A local accountant took the plunge and purchased a downtown office she previously leased. A young entrepreneurial local investor is refurbishing a downtown office building. There are many more I could mention.
Certainly, the type of growth we seek in Mesa County must include businesses and investments from outside the area. That helps the business community diversify and thrive. The incentives and attention we pay to make that happen is not only necessary, but also welcome.
But it’s equally important we don’t lose sight of those in the local business community who established the foundation upon which we’re now building.