MISSOULA, Mont. - In 2021, the Missoula Downtown Partnership reports 18 new businesses opened and over $38 million was invested commercially. As growth downtown continues to keep pace despite the pandemic, the partnership is gearing up for 2022.
In the next year, two big projects will wrap up, alleviating traffic headaches and allowing the return of popular events.
Construction on Beartracks Bridge and the first phase of the Caras Park remodel are expected to wrap up in spring in time for summer events like Downtown ToNight and the farmers market.
In that same area, the partnership said it's likely crews will start to tear down the former Western Montana Clinic Hospital and parking structure in the Riverfront Triangle.
Executive Director Linda McCarthey said the uncertainty of the pandemic makes it hard to predict timelines, but she said she's confident Missoula will continue to fare well.
“We have a lot to look forward to," McCarthey said. "I think our economy... sort of navigates the waves of the national environment a little better because we’re such a localized economy. I think that bodes well for us.”
Another area seeing growth is the Old Sawmill District.
Construction continues on the OSD Tech Campus and is set to finish around summer 2022.
The coffee shop Dog & Bicycle was one of the first spaces to open in the area. Manager Hanna Reese said she's seen the block become its own community.
"Obviously, I just want to see Dog & Bicycle really busy and see happy faces in here. I think everyone's coming down here and asking questions about this new area and what's going in here and I think it's creating a lot of conversation about growth in Missoula."
The campus will include office and retail space. It will house the Advanced Technology Group, an investment firm and two retailers, including Tagliare's second location.
The Missoula Downtown Partnership shared while business is growing, more housing is also expected.
Construction for the Villagio and Trinity apartments continues and is expected to finish early 2023 with 273 total units.