MISSOULA — This edition of Current Events with Missoula Current founding editor Martin Kidston takes an in-depth look at development efforts in the Scott Street area.
“That’s the ever-moving target with this project taking place on city property. The city owns 19 acres there. They have dedicated approximately nine acres to this development which is set near Scott Street. This project will include approximately 70 townhouses and condos on an affordable land trust to keep these homes permanently affordable,” Kidston explained. “It also includes 250 apartments at market prices as well as a convenience store, a grocery store and a daycare centre, a large central square with green space. It’s a really cool project. The problem is that it’s being pushed down the road due to economic headwinds – such as labor cost, labor shortages, lumber cost and trade rates. interest which are currently increasing. The developer said last week that it could be pushed back a year.”
Another project that may be under consideration for the Scott Street area is a new facility for Mountain Line.
“Yeah, the same area and kind of the same situation. Mountain Line received a letter of intent from the city to purchase this property last week. Mountain Line needs this letter to apply for a federal grant of about $50 million that it would use – if received – to build a new transit facility and maintenance shop and garage in the area. of Scott Street on about eight acres. Three of those acres are on city property,” Kidston noted. “Mountain Line is also looking to move there, to move its facilities from where they are currently on Shakespeare Street. They need this new space urgently, they say. They can only achieve their goals of electrification and road expansion if they have more space to operate.
One of the concerns with potential Scott Street projects is the additional infrastructure work that will be required in the area.
“The city admitted this week – the first time I’ve heard them say it – that Scott Street will likely reach breaking point in the near future when all of these new apartments, housing projects and transit facilities are put in place. line. Scott Street is really the only way in and out of this neighborhood,” Kidston said. “The city has received a grant from the EPA to begin designing a highway system there. How they will fund that highway system is yet to be determined. This will include right-of-way purchases. A new interchange there at Interstate 90. Turner Street will be extended. So there’s a lot of work there. It’s kind of a pie in the sky right now. This is all a vision, it’s a plan, it’s all in the works but none of that has materialized yet.”
The federal government should be involved in infrastructure work if an additional interchange on I-90 were to be built.
“Yes, if it’s a federal highway. This whole highway structure south of the Interstate between the railroads and the Interstate also needs to be expanded. There’s really nothing but garbage trucks and school buses, so there’s a lot of work to do, and it’s going to take a lot of money,” Kidston concluded.