What's happening to the old business plaza on the corner of 27 Road and Highway 50 in Orchard Mesa? The businesses are all closed, weeds are taking over, and there's a City of Grand Junction Land Development sign in the parking lot.

You've probably seen it a million times, the old brown building on the corner. Over the years it's been home to insurance offices, a smoking accessories store, and an infamous bar. What's does its future hold?

Upon seeing the sign in the parking lot, I placed a call. It seems this isn't just a simple remodel. A major change is at hand.

According to the City of Grand Junction representative, an application has been submitted requesting the demolition of this multi-unit building. In its place, a new 7,225 square foot store. Who's moving in? Apparently, the applicant is O'Reilly Auto Parts.

Imagine that, another auto parts store in Grand Junction. Oddly, an AutoZone opened a few years ago barely a half-mile east on Highway 50.

Looking back over the years, I've spent some quality time in the old brown building on the corner. I will hate to see it go. For a number of years, too many in fact, I played in the house band at the old Branding Iron Lounge. The Branding Iron was one of "those" bars - they checked you at the door for weapons...if you didn't have one, they would give you one.

Orchard Mesa building 3
Waylon Jordan
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The bar was located on the south side of the building. The architecture of the plaza is really unique. It's pretty much a bi-level structure. You would go down a half flight of stairs to go in the Branding Iron. Once inside, the ceiling couldn't have been more than seven feet. A tall person could barely stand up.

Well, by my calculations, a new auto parts store means jobs. Not only that, but as an Orchard Mesa resident, I enjoy seeing the area cleaned up. The Maverick store on the opposite corner really spruced up the neighborhood.

Landmark Building sign
Waylon Jordan
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So long, Landmark Building. Even though I drive by you at least twice a day, until now, I had no idea that is what you are called. It will be nice to see what develops on this corner in the near future.