124-apartment complex makes another step toward construction

A 124-unit apartment complex is getting closer to reality and on Wednesday, Cascade County Commissioners said they planned to approve an amended plat near the southern boundary of the city limits.

The formal vote will be during the Sept. 12 meeting.

The complex is workforce housing being developed by NeighborWorks Great Falls and will have 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units.

The project began development last year and was one of five projects selected out of 19 applications from the Montana Board of Housing. It will be the first in Montana to use a unique blend of 9 percent and 4 percent tax credits, said Neil Fortier, NWGF director of real estate development.

Rentals will have income restrictions and families and individuals below 60 percent of area median income would be eligible for what’s considered workforce housing.

The 10-acre complex will have apartments with these approximate rental rates:

  • One bedroom: $381-$607
  • Two bedroom: $593-$729
  • Three bedroom: $834

Fortier told county commissioners that they started the development process last year, but discovered that a portion of the property was in the Lewis and Clark portage route and worked with a consultant to ensure it was clear of historical significance.

The city-county Historic Preservation Advisory Commission considered the proposed project and green lighted it saying that this part of the portage route is no longer intact due to other developments, Commissioner Jane Weber said.

But NWGF will install a placard on the property noting that the area is part of the portage route, Fortier said.

The project is going through the city and county development processes concurrently and will be annexed into the city, Fortier said.

Development will include extending 23rd Street South to 24th Avenue South and 23rd Avenue South will be extended as well as 22nd Street South.

The adjacent property is available for development and whoever purchases it will continue 23rd Street South and 21st Street South.

NWGF is in the “very preliminary” stages of looking at purchasing that adjacent lot for single family development, Fortier said.

Fortier updated Neighborhood Council 6 on the project Wednesday evening.

NWGF is also in the early stages of a new single family development at the site of the former Kranz Flowers site on 3rd Avenue South between 13th and 14th Streets South.

Fortier said NWGF will hire a contractor to build three model homes and then pre-sell the remaining lots for single family homes in what’s being called Beargrass Village.