By Martin Kidston/Missoula Current
Urban Neighborhood in the Heart of Missoula
Activity in the Old Sawmill District will gain momentum in the coming months as several new projects break ground and residents who reserved ownership of the district’s first condominiums prepare to move in.
Progress on the reclaimed industrial site punctuates what’s been a resurgence of construction activity across Missoula over the last two years. The value of projects permitted by the city’s Development Services hit the $527 million mark this month, the agency’s director reported Tuesday.
“I was looking at the numbers a few days ago, and if you ad up the market value since Development Services was created 42 months ago, we’ll be up over half-a-billion dollars for the first time,” Director Mike Haynes said. “That’s a bit of a milestone.”
While the activity has been scattered across Missoula, nearly $50 million in building projects alone are either under way or planned for the coming months in the Old Sawmill District. The first condominium building, dubbed Polleys Square A, is expected to open to residents later this month, followed by the second unit in December.
“We’ve got the first and second-floor buyers of the first building closing on July 27,” said Leslie Wetherbee with Windermere Real Estate and a co-developer in the project. “Our commercial space will be occupied by the Dog & Bicycle Cafe & Bakery. This will be their first sit-down cafe and we’re really excited about having them there.”
The phasing plan for the Old Sawmill District includes four condominium buildings. As the first two buildings near completion, groundbreaking on the third unit is scheduled for October while the fourth and final unit is planned for February. The final two units are scheduled to open in 2018.
Ed Wetherbee, one of the project’s developers, said construction will also begin this summer on a four-story luxury apartment complex. The project, dubbed Cambium Place, is valued at roughly $25 million and will stand just west of the Polleys Square condominium cluster south of Wyoming Street.
“It’s a mixed use project with all underground parking, luxury rental apartments and about 30,000 square feet of commercial space,” said Ed Wetherbee. “In that commercial space we’re planning for a corner neighborhood market and a neighborhood fitness center.”
While the demand for high-end apartments exists in Missoula, Ed Wetherbee said, the market is short on supply. The concept exists in other parts of the country but is still new to Missoula.
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