MISSOULA — While a number of downtown building projects remain on hold, economic leaders this week expressed optimism that activity would return once the economy finds its footing.
Providence St. Patrick Hospital stands among them. It held a ceremonial groundbreaking last September on a new $126 million outpatient facility planned for an empty lot on hospital property.
But like other plans in the downtown district, the project is currently on pause.
“All Providence large-scale, capital projects were placed on temporary pause once COVID hit in March 2020,” said Providence spokesperson Stacy Rogge. “Plans for 600 West Broadway construction are momentarily delayed with the intent of resuming construction once we’ve weathered the COVID storm.”
As detailed last year, the project will include a five-story building with 120,000 square feet of clinical space. The new building is a part of a 10-year master plan for Providence hospitals in Missoula and Polson.
Across the street in the Riverfront Triangle, several other projects were placed on hold earlier this year, also due to the pandemic and its economic impacts.
But one project, a multi-story housing and commercial building at 601 West Broadway received a zoning change this week, and it may lead the way for new construction on the downtown corridor west of Orange Street.
While Providence placed the construction of its new facility on hold temporarily, it has moved forward with several other capital improvement projects. In August, it opened a new Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at its N. Orange Street facility.
Rogge said Providence also is wrapping up construction on a new 10,000 square foot clinical decision unit on its main medical campus. That’s expected to open soon, Rogge said.
“We have completed a number of smaller capital projects by partnering with our Providence Montana Health Foundation — an Adolescent Psych Unit, cardiovascular lab and the soon-to-be-open Clinical Decision Unit,” Rogge said.