Annexation request could signal Summit move, Costco expansion

The city signaled its intent this week to annex property off West Broadway that would see the completion of a new connector road and the growth or relocation of a number of major retail and commercial businesses in the area.

The 20-acre property, owned by Dougherty Five LLC, anchors the corner of West Broadway and Mary Jane Boulevard, which has been identified as a north-south linkage between Broadway and Mullan Road.

The new VA health clinic is expected to occupy a portion of the property, with groundbreaking expected next spring, along with Summit Beverage, which looks to build a new facility and leave its old location off Great Northern Avenue.

“We’ve really been in a rush trying to get this done for a number of reasons,” said Jason Rice of Territorial Landworks. “Part of the Summit deal is that Costco can expand where Summit is. This has a whole domino effect of economic growth for Missoula.”

Jenny Baker of Development Services said the annexation, which is set for approval next month, provides an opportunity to make a number of transportation improvements, several of which look to future growth in the area.

Among the conditions, the applicant must dedicate right of way for Mary Jane Boulevard, and complete portions of the roadway adjacent to the property. It also includes right of way at the intersection of Mary Jane and West Broadway for future traffic control, be it a light or a roundabout.

The conditions would also include a new east-west connector dubbed Veterans Way. The road would bisect the property and mark the beginning of a planned road grid, which the area currently lacks.

“The city engineer has requested a traffic impact analysis prior to the first building permit,” said Baker. “That’s to mitigate impacts of the development.”

Earlier this month, the city and Missoula County received a $13 million federal grant to make transportation improvements for the area between Mullan and West Broadway. A subdivision is planned on the south end of Mary Jane, while Summit and the VA look to build on the north end.

It isn’t yet known what improvements will be placed upon the developers and what portion would come from the federal grant. But Jeremy Keene, interim director of Development Services, said the city’s intent is to see Mary Jane connected on both ends with traffic control.

“We can put some language in terms of the city’s intent, but because we don’t know all the details on the BUILD grant, we don’t want to make a commitment on these conditions,” he said. “Our intent is to use the BUILD grant to build at least a portion of Mary Jane.”

As the conditions currently stand, Rice said, his client is “100 percent on the hook” to build portions of the roadway. He asked the city for more specifics on how the grant would be applied ahead of next month’s public hearing.

“There are considerations that Summit has to take into play on all the other costs going into this,” he said. “Those are definitely mounting costs.”