New firm proposes housing project

A year after Zeck Homes went out of business in the midst of the Great Recession, one of the former owners has teamed with another developer to form a company planning a 20-unit housing project near the Golf Club at Redlands Mesa in Grand Junction.

Matrix Communities plans a mix of single-family attached homes priced under $300,000 and condominiums in the $230,000 to $250,000 range.

The project is proposed for a hillside that straddles the north side of West Ridges Boulevard near the entrance to the golf community.

The project would sit below homes in The Ridges and could act as transitional housing between The Ridges and Redlands Mesa.

“This is a big step up in architecture and design,” said Mike Stubbs, co-founder of Matrix Communities along with Mansel Zeck. “We could build duplexes, but the property deserves more.”

On the other hand, Stubbs said “you don’t need the monster homes” prominent in the golf club community.

Stubbs is no stranger to executing business deals during a downturn. He’s president of Dynamic Investments, which purchased much of the land in The Ridges in the 1980s during the bottom of the local oil shale bust. To paraphrase an old saying: Stubbs took lemons and made lemonade. “I’ve always been a little counter-intuitive,” Stubbs said. “The last time things got weird, I did well.”

Stubbs hopes to get city approval for the layout of the new development by the end of the year and break ground on the first homes by the spring.

Although home prices continue to drop in Mesa County, Stubbs said he’s confident he can turn a profit on the project partly because of its location. “It’s in a location that can’t be duplicated (for the price),” he said. “And if they sold within two years, I’d be OK.”

He expects to draw interest from young couples or retirees who lead active lifestyles and want to ditch the maintenance associated with larger homes and yards.

As a hedge against a continued downturn in home prices over the next two years, Stubbs said he might only build a couple of homes at first and then continue as dictated by demand. “Our front-end costs are relatively low,” he added.

The homes will have Energy Star ratings, signifying energy efficiency, Stubbs said.

Should the project prove successful, Stubbs and Zeck are already planning a similar development across the street, just below the driving range at Redlands Mesa.

And that’s not all. The company also plans a development near 311/2 and D Roads with homes priced between $160,000 and $200,000.

Even if some of the plans don’t work out the way he envisions, Stubbs said the projects should be worth the effort in the long run. “We don’t have to hit a home run on every home,” he said. “If you do the right thing, you’ll succeed.”

Mike Moran
Business Times