GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Downtown Grand Junction is a charming few blocks, but the Mesa Pawn and Loan shop located on South 2nd St. is an eyesore, according to some locals and city officials. However, that will not be the case for much longer as demolition crews began working on the pawn shop today.
The city bought the Mesa Pawn and Loan shop in 2017 as a part of the $7.3 million Grand Junction Convention Center remodeling project. For the last three years, the city has leased the building to a business for warehouse space, but since the business no longer needs the storage, demolition on the inside of the store began, and in a few weeks, the building will be transformed into a paved paradise.
Anyone walking near the Mesa Pawn and Loan building can tell the shop is not the most attractive sight downtown has to offer. According to Jay Valentine, a city official, “We get comments on this building all the time. Downtown is such a beautiful place. And to sometimes have buildings that create some slum and blight, we try to rectify that.”
Therefore, there is about to be more parking downtown, which some locals are happy about and others are not as excited. One resident says, “As I see cities change, it is always disappointing to see old spaces destroyed and parking lots.”
Some other people want the pawn shop to be repurposed into a social space. Another resident says, “I think we should have dance parties in that warehouse.”
However, even without considering COVID-19 restrictions, city officials say renovating the building is out of the question. Valentine says, “It would take a lot to refurbish this building and to get it up to code, so we never really thought about doing anything other than turning it into a parking lot.”
City officials say the demolition will be finished in about 3 weeks, and immediately, the parking lot will be usable, but it will not permanent. The city has big plans for that space as well as the Convention Center.