Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) A subdivision planned off Flynn Lane won approval on Monday night, clearing the way for 600 new housing units on 44 acres at Dougherty Ranch.

The Missoula City Council approved the Icon Apartments project on a unanimous vote.

As planned, Braxton Development will construct 614 housing units and two clubhouses in two phases. Phase I isn't likely to begin until the first quarter of 2025 and the entire project won't be completed until after 2030, the development team has said.

The project will also include roughly 1 acre earmarked for commercial development. The city and county have invested roughly $15 million to lay the basic infrastructure needed to guide current and future growth in the area.

While the project went to a quick vote on Monday, Will Ralph with the development team has said the project will offer a range of housing types including row houses, mansion apartments and others. While a price point hasn't been set, Icon Apartments is targeting young professionals and empty nesters with high-end ameneties.

But not all council members supported the business model.

“While you have met all the requirements, I would beg you, from a moral perspective, to consider making some of these permanently affordable,” said council member Kristen Jordan, who offered no money to subsidize her plea for affordability.

The project also sits near the Missoula Montana Airport, and council member Sandra Vasecka asked that future residents of Icon Apartments be informed of their proximity to a commercial air hub.

City planners said the project's location to the airport is identified in two conditions of approval. One, the project must obtain a navigation easement from the Missoula County Airport Authority. Second, the final plat must state that the project sits in the airport influence area.

“Lot owners should be aware of the resulting safety risk,” said city planner Dave DeGrandpre. “The statement needs to be on the final plat.”