Phase 2 set to begin on Northside housing development

Phase 1 of the Scott Street Village workforce housing project in Missoula’s Northside Neighborhood is nearly finished, with Phase 2 set to begin this year. (File photo/Missoula Current)

It was two years ago when Collin Bangs and Edgell Building made public their plans to construct an entry-level housing development in Missoula’s Northside Neighborhood.

You can now check Phase 1 off the list.

The Missoula Redevelopment Agency’s Board of Directors this month supported and will ask the City Council to approve a $686,000 tax increment revenue bond to help pay for infrastructure improvements associated with Phase 2 and 3 of the Northside project.

Known as Scott Street Village, the subdivision is taking shape on the former Clausen Manufacturing industrial site, located at the corner of Scott and Rodgers streets.

“Phase 1 is under construction now and is about finished up,” said Chris Behan, assistant director at MRA. “The second phase, while smaller, is about the same number of houses. The third phase is anticipated to be a 50- to 60-unit apartment complex that would be constructed about three years from now.”

The three-phase development sits in a new urban renewal district created by the city last year. Stretching from Scott Street to North Reserve, the district is expected to undergo rapid redevelopment, though it lacks basic public infrastructure, making early projects cost prohibitive without financial support.

To help, MRA in 2015 approved roughly $518,000 in tax increment financing to help fund basic public infrastructure associated with Phase 1 of the project, which included 24 single-family homes and four townhouses.

Phase 2 includes six single-family homes and 18 townhouses. The TIF request associated with that effort stands at around $525,000 while Phase 3 adds an additional $162,000. The funding would help install the infrastructure called for in the city’s new master plan.

Behan said it’s more cost effective to roll the two TIF requests into one bond. First Security Bank is likely to purchase the debt and has proposed a 25-year term at 4.9 percent interest. Taxes generated from the development will more than cover the debt, Behan said.

“There’s room in that district with the projects we’ve supported to be able to handle a project like this,” he said. “It’s already spun off other kinds of proposed development in the area. There’s already been a transaction between the Diocese of Helena and a developer over land closer to the interstate.”

The Scott Street Village has been billed as a workforce housing development with entry level prices starting at $162,500. The median home price in Missoula currently stands north of $253,000, according to the Missoula Organization of Realtors.

The developers have placed the cost of the project at around $10 million.

“The Scott Street Village target market is moderate income or ‘workforce’ families who desire to live in a neighborhood setting,” said Behan. “It’s the type of development along Scott Street long advocated and hoped for by the Northside Neighborhood.”

The City Council is expected to consider the bond request later this month.