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Proposed Multi-Family Housing Units for Future Kalispell Parking Garage

In the months following the town council’s approval of a five-storey hotel and around 250-space public car park in downtown Kalispell, developers of the separate properties proposed the addition of four floors for multi-family housing to the parking structure, which city officials discussed during a council business session on June 13.

The developers proposed to add 70 units to the future parking garage, which would be located on the city’s Eagles lot at the southeast corner of First Street West and First Avenue West. It would include studio, one and two bedroom units, according to preliminary designs, which would also include commercial space on the lower level of the garage.

Ownership of the city-owned parking garage would use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and is expected to cost approximately $7 million before the multifamily housing component is proposed. Developers and city officials are considering transferring the parking structure to private ownership.

Of the approximately 250 parking spaces, approximately 90 would be leased by the developer for the hotel’s parking demand. The $47 million hotel development, located at Third Avenue and Main Street, is currently in the process of transferring land from the city to buyer developer, Montana Hotel Dev Partners, LLC.

Developers and city officials are proposing the addition of 38 parking spaces to the garage, causing councilors to fear that the additional spaces are still not enough to accommodate 70 households.

“Where would all these residents park? Councilwoman Jessica Dahlman asked city officials during the meeting.

TIF funds generated by the downtown district would be used to reimburse developers for the costs of constructing some of the parking spaces, and city officials are considering the possibility of using these funds to create housing for the labor, which is an allowable expense under state TIF laws. ; however, it is currently proposed that the units be priced at the market rate.

“(The developers) are happy with the market rate so we can push it through unless the council wants to push the road (TIF) through,” City Manager Doug Russell said.

In addition to the parking garage, the five-story hotel development was approved earlier this year at the Main Street location as part of the same project. It will feature 79 guest rooms, a full-service restaurant, rooftop bar and valet parking. Office space is also proposed for the project to accommodate hotel operations staff, likely in an existing building close to the hotel site.

A trio of developers from Compass Construction, BOND Partners and Alchemy Development collaborated on the project and formed Montana Hotel Dev Partners, LLC. The hotel and project developers were the only respondents to city officials’ request for development proposal submissions last year. The housing unit proposal should be approved by the planning board before being submitted to the city council for approval.

Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins