Downtown Development Projects

Downtown Missoula is experiencing another banner year in development. At the bottom are links providing more detail of business, transportation, and housing activities in the Missoula Downtown area. The following highlights the latest additions and improvements to the Downtown Community in 2021 and 2022.

Business Activity
  • 2022 Food and Beverage Additions: Walk in and hang at the bar or reserve a table at Brasserie Porte Rouge; Pearl Boba Tea opened a second location for fans of the Taiwanese dessert “bubble tea”; Bar Plata a cocktail and tapas bar on Higgins; and Tea & Crepe for classic sweet and savory thin pancakes!
  • New Retail: Slant Street Records for music and vinyl lovers; Montana Décor offering exquisite furniture and home goods to the Missoula community; Harlow filled with the latest in fashionable clothes ; Skylight Vintage for art, décor and furniture needs; Pea Green Parlor, a home goods and apothecary store; and Relic Gallery offering antiquities to Missoula’s collectors.
  • Missoula’s newest hotel, The Wren Hotel opened its doors in December 2021 in the heart of downtown. The hotel aims to be the starting point of an authentic Missoula experience, helping guests plan adventures in the urban downtown and out into the surrounding natural environment.
Transportation Improvements
  • The Higgins Bridge is under construction adding improvements for motorists and pedestrians/bicyclists alike. The 18 month project is slated for completion in spring 2022. Originally constructed in 1962, the Bridge updates will include a new deck and widening to add width to the sidewalks and bike lanes, bridge deck replacement, repair of the steel superstructure, powder coating luminaries, concrete barriers between motor vehicles and pedestrians/bicyclists, and a heating system for the sidewalks to ensure clear passage for pedestrians/bicyclists during winter months.
  • The Missoula County and City of Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization is working on its Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP): Missoula Connect Updates. The intent is to develop a framework to identify and prioritize projects for funding and implementation. MPO with citizen input will look at land use in combination with transportation decisions and growth. Strategic Growth scenarios will look at specific areas like the core of Missoula, “as well as areas with existing transit service, and pedestrian, bike, and trail facilities.”
  • Russell Street Bridge ($29 million): Construction, completed in 2020, replaced the existing two-lane bridge with a new five-lane structure, raised bicycle lanes, and widened sidewalks.
  • Van Buren Street Interchange ($10.5 million): The new interchange, completed in 2018, incorporates roundabouts at the Van Buren Street intersections immediately north and south of Interstate 90. Orange Street Interchange was completed in 2017 adding roundabouts at the on and off ramps for Interstate 90.
Future Development
  • Front Street/Main Street Two-Way Conversion: The Missoula Redevelopment Agency will be engineering the conversion of the one-way streets to two-way streets with the hopes of attracting funding for the project. The conversion of Front and Main Streets to two-way traffic remains an objective identified in the latest Master Plan. Identified as a top priority project in the 2009 Downtown Master Plan, conversion will improve overall circulation, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and economic vitality in Downtown Missoula.
  • Higgins Corridor Plan – Brooks to Broadway: The City of Missoula and the Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), in collaboration with the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), are working to produce a Corridor Plan for Higgins Avenue between Brooks and Broadway. The plan will evaluate design options to improve safety and access for people driving, biking, walking, and riding the bus. The Downtown Master Plan recommends transforming Higgins Avenue into a fully multi-modal street, which is essential for the economic, physical, and social health of the entire city. Public input is encouraged from all stakeholders. Join the conversation on the City of Missoula’s Higgins Avenue Corridor webpage!
Past Economic Reports