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
  • 2021-2022 Food and Beverage Additions: Boxcar Bistro, Thyme Out Café,  Pearl Boba Tea, Brasserie Porte Rouge and Cambie Taphouse opened up their second location in the Old Sawmill District.
  • New Retail: Head to Toiffer Pet Store, on North Higgins for pet supplies and accessories; A.Banks Gallery and Zara Gallery opened to offer exquisite art to the Missoula community; and Betty Venom Vintage for throwback clothing from the 1940’s-1980’s. 
  • Conflux Brewing Co. on E. Main, a new restaurant and brewery with outdoor seating and a second-story patio.
  • AC Hotel by Marriott at 175 N. Pattee St., opening in March 2021, is a design with Spanish roots and European soul; Mercantile Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel at 101 N Higgins is a five-story, mixed use development anchored by a 174-room hotel, completed for occupancy in 2018.
  • Clay Street Micro Apartments at Clay and Levasseur Streets is a 22 unit complex to be completed 2021; ROAM Student Living on E. Front is a 468-bed student housing mixed-use project with two floors of structured parking, and 6,200 square feet of ground floor retail, and four floors of residential. The retail level now includes Wally and Bucks , a hamburger space, Front Pizza with pizza by the slice or whole; and Ducrey Chocolate Maker offering coffee, pastries, and sandwiches.
  • Old Sawmill District: This 46-acre mixed-use planned neighborhood is offering 700 residences and 150,000 square feet of Class A office and retail Space. In 2020 ATG/Cognizant, a quote to cash solution service and a Sawmill tenant, broke ground on a new office complex. In 2018, the neighborhood opened high-end condominiums: Cambium Place and Polley’s Square. Cambium Place is home to neighborhood coffee shop Dog and Bicycle, Brio Fitness, and C3 Work Lounge, a coworking space. Boxcar Bistro, a neighborhood restaurant, also opened up in 2021.
  • The Missoula Public Library at 455 E. Main commenced construction in 2018 and opened in 2021! The brand new library will triple capacity, expand digital collections and computing services, provide access to video production and 3D printing, and provide a permanent home for SpectrUM Science Learning Center, Missoula Community Access Television and the Families First Learning Lab.
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