A Community Vision for the West Broadway Area
The City of Missoula, through the Missoula Redevelopment Agency (MRA), partnered with the Business Improvement District (BID) and the Missoula Economic Partnership (MEP) in 2021 to launch a detailed master plan for the West Broadway Area. A formal, detailed master plan lets everyone know what the community’s priorities are and guides public and private investment.
Click here to access the Final Master Plan: http://www.ci.missoula.mt.us/DocumentCenter/View/59920/EnvisionWestBroadway_Adopted_2021-12-13_RFS-web(External link) Printed copies also are located at the Missoula Public Library, Lowell School, and the North Missoula Community Development Corporation (NMCDC), for those who do not have convenient on-line access.
The Community Master Planning Process
The first step was a five-day Public Virtual DesignCharette in April 2021, to gather public input and cultivate a community vision for how the site should evolve in the coming years. A neighborhood survey also was circulated. An initial draft of the plan was prepared in response to public input, and reviewed at a public input session on October 7.
The West Broadway master plan then went through a formal adoption process and became an amendment to the Downtown Missoula Master Plan, and thus a part of the City’s Growth Policy. There were multiple opportunities for public input through the review and adoption process. The Missoula Planning Board held a public hearing on November 16, and Missoula City Council heold a public hearing on December 6. The plan also was presented to and adopted by the Business Improvement District (BID) Board on November 16, and the Missoula Redevelopment Agency (MRA) Board on November 18.
The area between West Broadway Street, California Street, Russell Street, and the Clark Fork River was identified as a gateway area in Missoula’s Downtown Master Plan. The Downtown Plan included a broad conceptual plan for the area that included some infill development and trail and park connections.
Since the Downtown Plan was completed, the City has purchased several properties in the area, and has put in place a strategy to move the Missoula Water facilities. This land-banking puts the City in an excellent position to directly influence redevelopment that is being envisioned through robust public engagement. The City will be able to create strategic partnerships to influence who undertakes redevelopment and how that development occurs. The site is also part of Missoula’s only Opportunity Zone, which is likely to be attractive to developers.
The West Broadway area is part of the Westside Neighborhood – a vibrant, dynamic, diverse neighborhood. It is also near many of the community’s desirable amenities – the Clark Fork River, the Riverfront Trail, Downtown Lions Park, and the California Street pedestrian bridge with direct connection to Silver Park. The master plan will look at ways to make it safer and easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross West Broadway, so it becomes less of a barrier between so much of the Westside Neighborhood and the river, parks, and trails.