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Developer shows new renderings of "The Drift" hotel and events center

Posted at 9:08 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 10:28:00-05

MISSOULA — Developer Nick Checota is showing the latest renderings for "The Drift", the new hotel and events center which he plans to build on Missoula's "Riverfront Triangle."

He's also stressing that while the City of Missoula will use tax increment financing to build the events center, none of that money will be used to pay for the hotel, which is the first phase of a project estimated at 100 million dollars.

"The developer will designs and constructs the entire project with private financing," said Checota. "So we'll put in our equity. We'll get our loans. We'll build the parking structure on behalf of the city. We'll build the events center. We'll build the tower-hotel component, all the plaza space. We'll do that with bank loans and equity that we put in."

Checota, and Jim McLeod of the Farran Group outlined their plans for "Phase 1" of the Riverfront Triangle to the City Club Monday, saying the work is on track to see the first construction as soon as early fall.

Checota, with his "Logjam Presents" partners, showed the latest designs for The Drift, which will incorporate an enclosed parking garage, the hotel and events center, commercial and residential units on the Triangle property he'll buy from the city.

After the TIF funds are used to construct the parking structure, he'll lease it back from the city. But he stressed only private money is being used for the hotel development.

McLeod said Farran is completing the permits and planning work need to construct additional parking, commercial and residential space right next door.

Checota notes that when the events center is finished and leased back to the city it will be the first time in more than 30-years the Riverfront Triangle site has generated property taxes for the city.