Missoula is primed for investment. We see this in the data, which paints a story of a thriving community with continued opportunity in both commercial and multifamily development. We see this in the eager interest of developers who have carved time out of their schedules to visit Missoula for our annual Developer Showcase. And we see this in the many projects that have been completed in recent years, and the many more that are in the works.
South Crossing Development
In 2013, the Woodbury Corporation launched a $24.5 million transformation of the former Kmart shopping center on South Brooks Street. With the assistance of Tax Increment Financing, the 40-year-old building and parking lot were demolished. In their place, the developers built two new buildings totaling 97,000 square feet and a newly configured parking lot. An existing building was renovated, and three outparcels were added.
The project, dubbed South Crossing, also helped launch a long-term reconfiguration of Brooks Street aimed at making the area more attractive for further redevelopment.
“The TIF-financed improvements were key in landing quality tenants and ultimately in making the whole project pencil out,” said Kraig Erickson, Woodbury’s development and leasing agent.
Between 2013–2014 alone, more than $100 million in commercial and multifamily housing development projects broke ground in Missoula. The city saw a 43 percent increase in residential lot sales from 2012–2013. And thanks to the proactive vision of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, projects ranging from the South Crossing retail development on Brooks Street to the 224-unit Corso Apartment Homes development have materialized — and quickly attracted tenants.
What drew those projects to Missoula remains true today.
First and foremost, the attraction here is the quality of our community. Missoula is a great place to live, work and play. We have mountains and trout streams and running trails. We have a stable, educated workforce of skilled tradesmen, administrative workers and professionals. We have a great university, vibrant economy and state-of-the-art utility, transportation and communications infrastructures.
And in both local government and the private sector, Missoula offers you the resources of professionals who are not only technically expert; they are also approachable, reachable. Here, you will only have to deal with one government office — Missoula Development Services — as you undertake your project.
We have real estate opportunities. We have business growth opportunities. In short, Missoula is a place where you can Live Rich Quick™.
Expand the sections below for details about prime development opportunities here. You can also download a PDF brochure from the 2014 Developer Showcase, which highlights these and other community facts. And if you just want to bounce ideas around, please contact the Partnership’s Jenn Ewan at 406.541.6463.
County Development Park
The Missoula County Development Park is a 446-acre mixed-use business park offering one of the region’s finest locations, just west of Missoula between Interstate 90 and the Missoula International Airport.
- Approximately 83 acres of technology, industrial and commercial lots remain for sale by Missoula County.
- Lot sizes and boundaries can be customized; street, water, sewer, gas, electric provided to each lot.
- The Development Park has its own unique Special Zoning District. There are covenants and Design Guidelines to assure high standards and to protect long-term investment.
- The setting is a campus environment with buildings and streets located in a park-like setting, with common architectural and landscape elements.
- There are over 60 acres of parkland designated within the Development Park, with miles of connecting trails. There is also the Historic LaLonde ranch site.
- The Development Park has two Tax Increment Finance Districts, one industrial and one technology, which were created to finance infrastructure within the Park and the adjacent International Airport. Public infrastructure projects including roads, sewer, water, gas and electricity, telecommunication lines in the Technology District, sidewalks, street lights, hydrants, parks and trails are financed through TIF funds. Bonds have been issued to accelerate the installation of infrastructure improvements. Other incentives may also be available.
Bonner Mill Industrial TIF District
- The site provides excellent opportunities for new industrial activity that can take advantage of existing infrastructure, including rail service and large industrial buildings.
- The district is large enough to host multiple independent tenants.
- The purpose of this industrial TIF is to encourage secondary, value-adding industrial growth, particularly manufacturing business, by providing a financial mechanism to install necessary public infrastructure improvements and grow the area’s economy over time.
- USDA Rural Development eligible.
Few communities in the United States can boast more than 50 acres of shovel-ready land in the heart of downtown. Between the Old Sawmill District and the Riverfront Triangle, Missoula offers exactly that.
The Old Sawmill District is a 45-acre former lumber mill site being developed as mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhood.
- Plans include: 600–800 residences, 150,000–200,000 sq. ft. commercial/retail space, 18 acres of parks and green space.
- Shovel-ready land available today.
- On riverfront, across from downtown.
- Connects to adjacent neighborhoods and city trail system.
Downtown also includes three Urban Renewal Districts — including URD II, Front Street and the Riverfront Triangle districts — consisting of approximately 540 acres.
- Located in the heart of downtown Missoula on both sides of the Clark Fork River.
- Much of the riverfront trail system is located within these three districts, providing easy access to the University of Montana.
- Development opportunities are available in all three districts.
- Notable opportunities are the Riverfront Triangle and south of the river in and west of the Old Sawmill District.
- URD II, the oldest and largest of the downtown districts, is approximately 430 acres and has annual tax increment revenue of $1,400,000.
In addition, much of the area (as outlined in pink on the map) is included in the Downtown Master Plan, a 20-year vision for the heart of Missoula. Adopted in 2009, this Master Plan effort included comprehensive inventory / analysis of downtown businesses and buildings. Click here to download a PDF of the entire plan.
- Effort led by Missoula Downtown Association and Missoula Redevelopment Agency with strong support from the Downtown Business Improvement District, Missoula Parking Commission and Missoula business leaders.
- Several catalyst initiatives have come to fruition from this master plan — including the three-story parking structure on Front Street, the North Higgins Improvement Project and the communitywide Wayfinding System coming in late 2014.
- Easy access to downtown, the University of Montana and the Bitterroot Valley.
- Bisected by one of Missoula’s primary commuter bike trails, the Bitterroot Branch Trail.
- Numerous development and redevelopment opportunities of various sizes.
- Over $2,200,000 in annual tax increment revenue available for eligible projects.
Two Urban Renewal Districts are currently in the proposal phase. Both will significantly expand opportunities for residential and commercial development in high-traffic areas of the Missoula Valley.
- 420 acres within city limits; the balance will have access to tax increment financing upon annexation.
- Vast amount of under- or undeveloped former industrial property.
- Opportunities for mixed-use development and plenty of potential for new employment centers and clean industrial.
- Master planning process will begin as soon as district is finalized.
- Proximity to I-90 provides excellent exposure.
- Adjacent to the I-90 broadband pipeline.
The second proposed URD consists of 133 acres at the mouth of Hellgate Canyon, near the Van Buren Street interchange on Interstate 90.
- District will be anchored by the new UM-Missoula College building.
- Several properties currently on the market.
- Walking distance to main UM campus.
- Transit and parking study currently underway.
- Close proximity to I-90 with improvements to the Van Buren exit planned.
- Adjacent to the I-90 broadband pipeline.