Wednesday, June 11

Small developments around Missoula

It's usually the megaprojects and large subdivisions that get all the attention, but the healthiest way for a city to grow is in small piecemeal increments. This allows old buildings to mix together with new ones, and it enables individual builders to put their own unique stamp on the projects. Many of us have been conditioned to fear and resist that proverbial "developer," but development, if its done well, can be a really good thing for the whole city.

Today, once the snowstorm subsided, I took some pictures of three new buildings around town that I think are pretty cool.

This historic building on Spruce Street, which was patterned after an A.J. Gibson design in 1920, is now being completely restored. It had been subdivided for the last several years into apartments. After these renovations, the new plan calls for two retail locations on the bottom floor and two residential units above. Going back to the original mixed-use intentions?

Cafe Dolce's new location on the residential section of Brooks street is a beautiful addition to Missoula. Once it opens in July, I'm sure it will quickly become the social hub of the slant-street neighborhood. The parking is unobtrusively tucked in the back, giving all of the prominent visual space to the outdoor patio and the classical Italian facade. This is a building that was clearly meant for human beings.

This building, dubbed "The Corner," gives shape to the prominent intersection between Brooks and Higgins on the edge of Missoula's downtown. It's location gives this building the potential to become a landmark overlooking the "hip strip" section of Higgins. The required parking is all underground, which is really cool. It is supposed to be a mix of retail and office space, and will purportedly also include an outdoor patio section. At 3-4 stories, this building is the perfect height for this section of town.

Developments like these show Missoula's potential to grow into quite a livable city.


wild chicken said...

Thanks, I was wondering what was going on with that first place. A friend used to live there. At least it's not another condo conversion (or is it?).

Dakotaboy said...

Hey Daniel,

Its Ty. I might know who worked on Your first apartment building pictured. :)

We should get together and play guitar once more before you leave man.

Daniel Nairn said...

Is that your firm, Ty, that's doing the apartment renovation? It looks great. We should get together soon.