Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) A new team of developers has taken interest in the Riverfront Triangle in downtown Missoula, and city leaders are cautiously optimistic that long-held plans for the site will come to fruition this time around.

The property includes a collection of private parcels and one city-owned property on roughly seven acres in downtown Missoula. The interested team is currently conducting due diligence and hasn't been identified at this point in the process.

“There's a developer that's been in conversation with the owners of those private parcels. They're doing their due-dilegence on figuring out if they'll purchase that. They've also been in conversation with the Missoula Redevelopment Agency,” Missoula Mayor Jordan Hess told the Missoula Current.

Plans to redevelop the Riverfront Triangle has brought many interested parties to the table over the past five years. The site's master plan includes a hotel and concert venue, housing, office, retail and parking.

One local development team was set to break ground on the project in 2020, but the pandemic's economic impacts killed the effort. A new team dubbed Capital V Partners stepped forward last April and pledged to complete the project as envisioned.

That team also stepped away, but Hess believes the new party can move plans for the property forward.

“I think they're trying to figure out if they can make it happen. I'm hopeful it will at least advance to the next phase,” Hess said. “It's encouraging to see some good, credible interest.”

A rendering of one redevelopment proposal.
A rendering of one redevelopment proposal.

While the city owns one lot in the Riverfront Triangle, it owns several other parcels elsewhere in the city, including the old library block in the downtown district.

The city has asked the Missoula Economic Partnership to spearhead promoting the block's potential and to contact any developers both interested and capable of redeveloping the property.

“We've been doing interviews with developers through MEP for that block,” Hess said. “MEP brought in six different teams. There's some good interest. I think there's opportunity to plug different people into this.”

Hess placed no timeline on either downtown site and said economic uncertainties, high interest rates and the cost of materials could delay any immediate plans.

But the Riverfront property has been vacant for decades, so waiting for any headwinds to pass before construction takes place won't be too difficult, Hess said.

“We've been working on that site for so long, we certainly have the opportunity to be patient and wait for the right thing,” Hess said.