Quantcast

Labor issues continue to dog Hotel Fox development agreement - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Labor issues continue to dog Hotel Fox development agreement

Posted: Updated:
Plans call for bringing $150 million in redevelopment to the Riverfront Triangle in the future. (MTN News photo) Plans call for bringing $150 million in redevelopment to the Riverfront Triangle in the future. (MTN News photo)
The deal would allow developers to proceed with plans to build a 200 room full-service hotel and conference center for Missoula to operate on the Riverfront Triangle. (MTN News photo) The deal would allow developers to proceed with plans to build a 200 room full-service hotel and conference center for Missoula to operate on the Riverfront Triangle. (MTN News photo)
Plans for redeveloping the area along the Clark Fork River have been in the works for years. (MTN News photo) Plans for redeveloping the area along the Clark Fork River have been in the works for years. (MTN News photo)
MISSOULA -

Missoula leaders are on the verge of signing an agreement which would not only bring a major new hotel to downtown but also light the spark for what could turn out to be the biggest single development in the city's history.

However, a citizen's group continues to insist that a "labor peace agreement" be attached to the project, something developers are adamantly against. 

The agreement with Hotel Fox Partners and the City of Missoula would allow developers to proceed with plans to build a 200 room full-service hotel and conference center for Missoula to operate on the Riverfront Triangle.

Members of the Missoula City Council reviewed the agreement on Wednesday, which now doesn't include any reference to labor for the operation after the latest objections from the Community Benefits Coalition. 

Missoula Redevelopment Agency (MRA) staff have recommended dealing with the labor issue in later contracts.

"No reason to push this out. There's every incentive from the overall economy to bond interest rates to financing interest rates. All kinds of reasons to move this thing along," said Chris Behan with the MRA.

But a coalition of union leaders and user groups are urging the city to take a "time out" and address the labor questions now, rather than later.

"The time to do this is now. This is something the city has the ability to mandate. And it's not unusual. And I think maybe we should take a pause in the vote so that these things can be better understood," said Mark Anderlik with the Community Benefits Coalition.

"Let us get the hotel built first. And let the employees get hired and let them make the decision if they want to be unionized or not. It's not up to us," countered Jim McLeod of Hotel Fox Partners.

"We are not going to sign a neutrality agreement or a labor peace agreement on this deal, prior to getting the hotel built," added Pat Corrick, also with Hotel Fox Partners.

Not only are the demands for the labor wording generating waves at the 11th hour, but could threaten the project altogether -- including the broader plans to bring $150 million in redevelopment to the Riverfront Triangle in the future. 

Council members expressed confusion, and worry about such "labor peace agreements" setting a precedent.

"I feel like it's really a huge policy decision, which attaching it by velcro, necessarily, to this project might not be the best way to approach the entire thing," said Missoula City Councilwoman Gwen Jones.

The Missoula City Council will discuss the proposed Hotel Fox development agreement further on Monday night.   

Top Trending Videos

WEATHER
Powered by Frankly

© KPAX.com 2017, KPAX.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?