Downtown Master Plan Update 2017-2018

Downtown Missoula is in the midst of a boom with more than $850 million dollars in public and private development taking place. Projects such as, the Old Sawmill District, Farran Group’s student housing project, a new Public Library, Stockman Bank and much, much more are bringing new investment, infrastructure and jobs to the heart of our community. Additional investment has taken place in transportation and parking, including bridge improvements, round-a-bouts, the new Park Place Parking Structure, and parking kiosks. Nearly 1,200 new housing units have been built in or near Downtown, and the number of businesses and employment opportunities continue to increase.

These investments are directly connected to the Downtown Master Plan that was unanimously approved by the City of Missoula, Missoula County, Destination Missoula, the Missoula Downtown Association, the Downtown Business Improvement District, the Missoula Parking Commission and the Missoula Redevelopment Agency. The vision set forth in the 2008 community planning process put Downtown Missoula on a trajectory of triumph, as Missoulians and the entities they represent move forward together to achieve the Downtown Master Plan’s goals.


Major accomplishments and projects have served as catalysts for additional development:

  • North Higgins Street Improvement Project (2010) put Missoula in the national spotlight for protected bike lanes and complete streets design and led to full occupancy from Broadway north.
  • First Interstate Bank (2011) and Garlington, Lohn & Robinson (2012) each built a six-story employment center in Downtown Missoula.
  • The Park Place Parking Structure (2013) won a national parking award for its design and holds the largest solar installation in the State of Montana.
  • The Old Sawmill District completed Silver Park, the boat launch and extended the riverfront trail, and completed multiple private residential projects and started development on new ones.
  • The Riverfront Triangle is expected to break ground on a conference center and hotel, with commercial and residential development to follow.
  • Madison and Higgins Bridges will be re-decked with improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

Completion of nearly all the Master Plan’s action items means it’s time to update the original plan. Priorities for the Master Plan update have been identified and include:

  • Business Retention & Recruitment Strategies
  • Business/Employment Growth
  • Caras Corridor Planning
  • Downtown Housing Development
  • Front & Main Redesign & Retail Flow
  • Parking Development
  • Retail Recruitment Strategies
  • River Corridor Planning
  • Street Design Standards
  • Technology Growth

As the Downtown Missoula Partnership (DMP) embarks upon updating the plan, support from the community is needed. The DMP needs to raise $400,000 to cover the cost of updating the Master Plan. The original plan was funded by nearly 60 partners vested in the success of Downtown Missoula, and funds came from both private investors and public funds. A planning process led by the private sector and funded collaboratively between public and private entities is a recipe for success. Public and private support will ensure the process and the end product align with the community-wide vision for Downtown Missoula. Your contribution can be made now or before March 1, 2018, when an RFP for a consultant will be released.

Contributions can be made to the Missoula Downtown Foundation, a 501c3 organization dedicated to raising funds for Downtown Missoula projects. Contributions will be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

If you’re invested in the success of Downtown and would like to support this initiative, please contact the Downtown Missoula Partnership at 406.543.4238 or email

Downtown Missoula is a tremendous success story, but there is more to be done. We hope you will join the DMP in their endeavor to update the Downtown Master Plan and keep it as a guiding tool for the future of our Downtown.