2009 Master Plan

The Downtown Missoula Master Plan was completed in 2009 through a community-wide visioning process. The purpose of the plan was to build a comprehensive, balance-centered strategy to strengthen and expand Downtown Missoula’s role as the economic and cultural heart of the city.

The 2009 Master Plan was a reflection of Missoula’s values, and reinforced the city’s unique character, history, and its culture and economic activity. The plan focused on land use and circulation and provided strategies in the areas of employment, housing, parking, retail and tourism.

City leaders and stakeholders used the Master Plan as its blueprint for downtown development. Over the past decade a concerted effort was made to implement many of the Master Plan’s recommendations, which  resulted in more than $850 million in private and public investment within the study area.

Here is a list of some of the completed projects and a few in progress:


  • Arts & Culture: New Missoula Art Park (2017), and renovations to Missoula’s two historic theaters — The Wilma and The Roxy (2016).
  • Education: New building for Missoula College along the Clark Fork River (2017).
  • Employment Centers: First Interstate Bank (2011), Garlington, Lohn & Robinson (2012), and Stockman Bank (2017) each built new premier Class A office buildings in Downtown Missoula.
  • Hospitality: New five-story, mixed use, development in the heart of historic downtown, anchored by a 174-room Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel (2018); renovation and upgrades to Holiday Inn Downtown (2018-2019), and current renovations for the DoubleTree Hotel (2018-2019); as well as a seven-story hotel and conference center at the Riverfront Triangle (2020).
  • Housing: Added more than 1,200 new housing units for all income levels, including new student housing at ROAM Student Living on Front Street (2018) and The Sawyer in the Old Sawmill District (2019).
  • New Parks and Trails: New 15-acre Silver Park (2015) and improvements for Caras Park.
  • 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 north of Broadway.The Madison Bridge was redecked with improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities (2017); and the Higgins Avenue Bridge will  be redecked and expanded to better serve multimodal transportation (2020). The Russell Street Bridge is being replaced with additional vehicle and bike lanes, expanded sidewalk, lighting and trail connections (2018-19). The two interstate interchanges in downtown also have been or are in the process of being reconfigured with roundabouts.
  • Parking: 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. New electronic parking kiosks were implemented throughout Downtown (2017).
  • Social Services: New building and location for the Poverello Center (2014).
  • Walkability: Implementation of Phase I of a new community-wide Wayfinding System (2016).

Master Plan Implementation Team presentations to the Missoula City Council: