Why Grand Junction? From the local peach farmer to the geospatial software developer, there are a lot of common reasons to choose Grand Junction.
The lack of traffic congestion, affordability of housing, easy access to public lands, recreation mecca out our back doors and smiling faces on almost everyone you meet. These are lifestyle choices Grand Junction residents make every day. These attributes drive net in-migration to the Grand Valley, in turn fostering a stronger and more diverse economic climate. Even investors have turned toward our market as larger primary and secondary markets have tightened.
Grand Junction is considered a tertiary market when it comes to investing. Some of the applicable metrics include population, sales volume, job growth, traditional and non-traditional economic drivers, growth rates, occupancy, capitalization rate compression and spread. Typically, tertiary markets are categorized as those with less than 2 million people. But other factors make some communities more attractive than others.
Although the majority of the growth in the Grand Valley has been organic, we’ve had a lot of outside investors looking at our valley to try and figure out the direction and velocity of growth. Cap rates are attractive here compared to secondary and primary markets. The same 8 percent return on your money for a deal in Grand Junction would translate to a 5 percent to 6 percent return in more compressed markets like Denver.
Investors who know what makes Grand Junction tick hold an advantage. The growth of the medical industry and presence of the outdoor recreation industry are also drivers worth exploring. The growing medical industry caters to a retiring baby boom generation, but a big part of its business comes from an active millennial generation. Record-breaking retail sales from camping gear, mountain bikes, off-road vehicles and water sports speaks directly to the discretionary income moving through the Grand Valley. Such large employers as Capco, Leitner-Poma and West Star Aviation bring a lot of money into the valley in the form of jobs and revenue from customers around the world.
I was recently talking to a real estate investor who develops office buildings in primary markets around the United States. He told me they’re now building office buildings for the purpose of employee retention versus efficiency. This is a shifting dynamic as more value is put into human resources than ever before. They’re building cafes, gyms, markets and theaters as part of office complexes to offer attractive experiences for employees. This culture is driven in a different way in Grand Junction. Our gyms are walking trails along rivers, biking trails out the front door and a recreational playground in every direction. This mixture will make our community stand out among the rest when companies consider where to locate operations.
It all boils down to this: A combination of strong fundamentals and opportunities will carry Grand Junction into the future. Whether you’re looking to invest in a small apartment complex or stabilized medical facility, there are lots of options to consider. All of this combined with a lack of traffic and affordable homes could make for a perfect storm for the local economic climate. That’s why Grand Junction.