Growing quickly, Consumer Direct planning second Missoula office building

The Consumer Direct Care Network, based in Missoula, is planning for a second office building off Howard Raser Drive to accommodate its rapid growth.

Two years to the month after opening its new national headquarters off North Reserve Street, Consumer Direct has grown short on space, and it’s now looking to launch the second phase of its office park.

The home-health management company on Thursday received the Missoula Redevelopment Agency’s approval to begin work on a parking lot before launching into the construction of a second office building.

The three-story structure, estimated at $10 million, marks the company’s second wave of local growth, which company executives don’t expect to slow down.

“We’re back here a little sooner than what we anticipated,” said Bruce Kramer, vice chairman of the Consumer Direct Care Network. “We’re over 350 employees now in the building and still growing. It’s a good thing to be working on another project.”

While the company employs around 37,000 care workers in nearly 40 states, it manages its national operations from Missoula, and it’s growing quickly.

The new office will tuck into the north side of the company’s main facility, which opened in 2017 at a cost of $23 million. Back then, Consumer Direct employed around 250 workers. During the ribbon cutting, Bill Woody anticipated a second office might be needed in the future.

“It seems like as soon as we get something built, we outgrow it,” Woody, a majority shareholder in Consumer Director, said at the time. “Knock on wood, we’ll probably be on the other side of the street before too long.”

The company’s cluster of offices are taking shape off Howard Raser Drive and North Reserve Street. MRA invested roughly $630,000 in tax increment financing to lay the groundwork for the development in 2017.

That investment included new streets and utilities, along with street lighting and sidewalks along Howard Raser Drive. Consumer Direct remains the only business in the area, though others are expected to follow.

The development sits wholly within the North Reserve–Scott Street Urban Renewal District. The district’s western reaches are reserved for office development while the eastern half is slated for residential development.

“Consumer Direct, probably for a large business, may have the most employees who use alternative means of transportation,” said Chris Behan, assistant director of MRA. “Parking is necessary in that location, but they’re trying to minimize the impact their employees have on the environment.”