MISSOULA — The Missoula City Council this week gave final approval to the sale and transfer of a nine acre parcel owned by the city, pushing a planned affordable housing development closer to reality.
Efforts to redevelop the former industrial property off Scott Street have been lingering for nearly two decades. As recently as 2014, the City Council was given two development options, including residential and ongoing industrial.
Ultimately, a residential vision prevailed.
“I will concisely say that I am glad beyond words that a bigger, more housing-centric and hopeful vision is prevailing,” said City Council president Bryan von Lossberg.
The project will create 70 affordable housing units on roughly three of the nine acres. In that portion of the development, which includes a land trust, prices will target buyers earning 120% or below the area median income.
The remaining six acres will be used as market-rate housing. Both the market rate and affordable units will be intermixed throughout the development.
The property comes from the City’s $6.3 million purchase of 19.1 acres of former industrial land last August. The land itself has been abandoned for more than 30 years after housing Missoula White Pine Sash, but the 9.8 acres have been cleaned up to environmental standards.
The property was sold to Missoula-based Goodworks Ventures, which does business as Ravera Development. The sale approved by the city will net $1.6 million, which will go to the Missoula Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
“I feel like we have buy-in on so many levels,” said council member Amber Sherrill. “It’s going to be a great plan to create a lot of affordable housing which is a big thing that we talked about in council and something that we desperately need.”