Riverfront Triangle developers place property on the market; still plan hotel, conference center

The owners of the Riverfront Triangle in downtown Missoula have placed portions of the property on the real estate market in hopes of attracting other developers to what’s slated to be one of the largest urban infill projects in state history.

Jim McLeod, a principal with Farran Realty Partners, told the Missoula Current late Wednesday that the firm will continue to secure financing and develop Hotel Fox and its conference center on roughly two acres of city-owned land associated with the larger seven-acre development.

“We still have the intent to develop part of it,” said McLeod.

Scott Strellnauer is marketing the property with PureWest Christie’s International Real Estate and it comes with a land use and development agreement in place with the city.

That agreement, crafted over the course of several years, resulted in the Riverfront Triangle Master Plan. Along with the hotel and conference center, the plan calls for a wide mix of housing, commercial and office space on four tracts of land, known collectively as the Riverfront Triangle.

The listing includes three tracts of land representing roughly five acres, but not the hotel site itself.

“Given the recent growth in downtown Missoula and the strong national economy, Farran believes it is an optimal time to accelerate the development of the Riverfront Triangle by selling some or all of the property to one or more qualified development firms,” said Pat Corrick, a principal with Farran.

Farran represents one of three members of Hotel Fox Partners, which will continue its work to build a hotel and conference center on the corner of Front and Orange streets.

Plans still call for a 195- room hotel with a 36,000-square-foot conference center, 10,000 square feet of breakout meeting space, and up to 48 condo units located on the upper floors. The adjacent three lots were placed on the market to bring in other developers, given the size of the infill project.

“We’re excited to bring in other qualified developers who share in our community’s vision for the Riverfront Triangle and Missoula,” said Corrick. “There are discussions with several end users to develop one or more projects on the Riverfront Triangle, which would move forward if formal agreements are secured.”

Last month, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency granted Hotel Fox Partners an additional 12 months to meet the deadlines associated with the hotel and conference center.

The developers have until May 2020 to submit designs for the conference center and the parking garage associated with that piece of the project.

Farran also has secured a federal Brownfields loan through the city to begin asbestos abatement in several vacated buildings on other tracts of the Riverfront Triangle property. That work will take place this summer, clearing the way for deconstruction and eventual redevelopment.

“Working hand in hand with the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, the Missoula City Council, numerous city agencies, and the incorporating the work that the community generated over several decades, we crafted an agreement that reflects every important principle of the Riverfront Triangle Master Plan,” said McLeod.