By Martin Kidston/Missoula Current

Recent growth at Morrison-Maierle has prompted the Montana engineering firm to search for a new Missoula location for a larger office building, where it intends to hire 10 to 15 engineers to keep pace with the company's growing list of contracts.

It found its future property at 1055 Mount Avenue in the burgeoning Midtown district.

Last week, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency approved a request from Mount Stephens Corporation on behalf of the engineering firm for $221,000 in tax increment financing to cover the costs of razing an old construction office currently on the property.

The funding also includes the removal of asbestos, curbs and sidewalks, and bringing high-speed Internet to the area.

“We'll bring high-speed connectivity to serve 20 other properties in the area,” said Chris Behan, assistant MRA director. “We're extending that kind of infrastructure to the area.”

The property sits within Urban Renewal District III in Midtown, which has seen an influx of office construction. Recent projects have included a new state office building, the Rumor restaurant and upgrades to TJ Glass.

Nearby, OnXmaps also has plans to construct a new three-story office building, adding to its growing campus.

“Morrison-Maierle put in eight different proposals around town to build the building,” said Kevin Gordon. “They had opportunities to go out on Reserve. They really felt like they wanted to stay in town, or as close to town as they could. They selected this project, partially, due to MRA's possible assistance.”

The new office building planned by Morrison-Maierle includes 14,198 square feet on two levels. The cost of construction stands at roughly $3.7 million.

The firm, which has secured several major contracts, including Missoula International Airport and its new passenger terminal, looks to grow its local workforce. The company is headquartered in Helena and provides engineering services throughout the Western U.S.

“This project will be an improvement in the area and could draw similar businesses,” said Behan. “There are many other development opportunities in the immediate area, including several vacant and underutilized properties and buildings.”

The project is slated for completion by March 2018.

Contact reporter Martin Kidston at