UPDATE 04/09 - The Electric City is getting a new event center, with plans on bringing in thousands of people while promoting local growth in the heart of downtown once they open their doors.
After being empty for roughly five years, this project breathes new life into the abandoned building next to Central Avenue Meats by 5th St North.
"It's taking an unused property and putting it back on the tax space at a much higher value," said Jolene Schalper, Great Falls Development Authority’s senior vice president.
With space for bars, a dance floor and a stage, The Newberry will be able to host a variety of events, from weddings to medium-sized concerts.
"There is a group of musicians that travel across the country that are looking for that sweet spot of 500 to a thousand [people]," said Schalper.
This project is the latest in a decade-long effort to re-energize the heart of Great Falls and boost its local economy, as the city continues adding more businesses.
"We're seeing big leaps and jumps now. It's been a long effort but it's pretty exciting," she said.
Plus, this venue’s flexibility gives it the potential to host up to 60,000 people per year.
"Having people downtown for concerts means they're eating downtown, means they're getting a beverage after the concert,” said Schalper. “So bringing 60,000 people, that estimate, a year downtown will just bolster our already growing efforts."
While the new venue creates some competition for similar sites, Schalper says it also gives people more options and opportunities for growth down the road.
"As people see Great Falls as a space that they're moving to, that they're coming to for events, they'll see new opportunities to host even more events or for more people to move here," she said.
The Newberry is expected to finish construction in September, with its first show already planned for October.
GREAT FALLS, Mont. - A new event center is coming to the Electric City.
Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA) says construction has started on the Newberry with an anticipated opening date in September 2021.
According to the GFDA, the event center is anticipated to host over ninety events each year and bring over 60,000 people into downtown Great Falls with events ranging from private corporate events and weddings to large-scale concerts.
“We are thrilled to contribute to the awesome momentum we see in Downtown Great Falls. We’re going to be bringing in events and acts that wouldn’t be able to come through Great Falls otherwise,” said Scott Reasoner, Partner, Newberry, Inc.
You can watch the announcement video of the new event center and renderings of the center here.