In 2019 Missoula updated its Downtown Master Plan. The 2019 Plan sets a new 10-year vision for the heart of Missoula based upon Five Big Ideas:
- More than One Postcard Street
- Improve Mobility, Health and Safety
- Stay Original. Stay Authentic. Be Green. And Create Opportunity.
- Enhance Parks & Public Spaces, & Better Utilize the River
- Downtown For Everyone
Over these past years, city leaders, stakeholders, developers, and investors have taken intentional steps to put the vision into reality…and the results are stunning. More than $700 million dollars have been invested into Downtown Missoula. Here is the list of recent accomplishments, and catalysts for additional development.
- Public Building: Newly completed Missoula Public Library at 455 E. Main (2020)
- Arts & Culture: New Radius Gallery at 120 N. Higgins (2020). New Zootown Arts Community Center (ZACC) at 216 W. Main (2019). Recent renovations to Missoula’s two historic theaters, The Roxy and the Wilma (2016).
- Education: New building for Missoula College along the Clark Fork River (2017). Renovations and construction to Missoula’s Willard Alternative High School (2020) and Missoula International School (under construction).
- Employment Centers: First Interstate Bank (2011), Garlington, Lohn & Robinson (2012), and the Stockman Bank (2017), each built Class A office buildings in Downtown Missoula. ATG/Cognizant has a Class A office building under construction in the Old Sawmill District.
- Hospitality: Nearly completed AC Hotel by Marriot, scheduled for opening early 2021. Recent five-story, mixed use, development in the heart of historic downtown, anchored by a 174-room Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel (2018) with additional retail and restaurant spaces; current renovations and upgrades to the Holiday Inn Downtown, and renovations to the Doubletree Hotel (2018-2019. The former Days Inn, across from the new AC Hotel, is under construction and will open in 2021 as the Wren Hotel.
- Housing: Added 1,200-plus new housing units for various income levels, including Clay Street Apartments (2021 completion date), the Front Street Lee Gordon Place townhomes (2019), ROAM student housing & parking garage on Front Street (2018), and The Sawyer in the Old Sawmill District (2019), Levasseur Street Townhomes (2018), Sweet Water Commons (2016), Polly’s Square (2016), and Cambium Place (2018).
- New Parks: 15-acre Silver Park (2015) and Caras Park Improvements. Adopted in 2020, Missoula North Riverside Parks & Trails Design Plan Report designed to enhance the existing parks along the Clark Fork River in the Downtown area.
- Parking: The Park Place Parking Structure (2013) won a national parking award for its design, and Missoula installed new parking meters Downtown (2017).
- Transportation: 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 along Higgins Avenue north of Broadway. Madison Street Bridge was re-decked with improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities (2017). Missoula’s bus service (Mountain Line) became zero-fare. The Higgins Street bridge is in the middle of an 18-month long reconstruction designed to enhance pedestrian and bicycle lanes.
- Social Services: A new building and location for The Poverello Center (2014). The Missoula Food Bank & Community Center, established in 1982, leads the movement to end hunger in Missoula. They moved into a new building on Wyoming St. (2017). The Salvation Army (2017) moved into a new facility at 355 S. Russell focusing on poverty, hunger, addiction, and more. The City of Missoula is in year 9 of a 10-year plan to end Homelessness, a plan that “puts housing first in helping people…”.
- Walkability: First Phase of a new community-wide Wayfinding System was implemented (2016).