Pocket neighborhood project on hold due to soil issues, single family residential likely planned for former Kranz lot

Soil issues complicated plans for Great Falls’ first pocket neighborhood that was planned for the former Kranz property.

NeighborWorks Great Falls was planning to build 10 single family homes and two two-unit townhomes on a 1.21 acre parcel at the corner of 3rd Avenue South and 14th Street.

Beargrass Village, city’s first pocket neighborhood, up for commission approval Dec. 5

Initial geotechnical work didn’t reveal the scope of the soil problems, but further analysis showed that each home would have required engineered foundations.

That would have substantially increased the cost per home, which were designed to be affordable, according to Sherrie Arey, NWGF director.

That means NWGF will not build the pocket neighborhood at the Kranz site.

Pocket neighborhood ok’d by planning board

“Our goal was to provide quality housing at an affordable price,” said Neil Fortier, NWGF director of real estate development. “Soil conditions are preventing us from doing that on this property with this project. The pocket neighborhood concept is not dead, just delayed.”

Instead, they’re planning to build regular single family homes in the $175,000 to $220,000 range.

Pocket neighborhood proposed for former Kranz Floral site gets public hearing on Tuesday

Those plans are still preliminary and NWGF is looking for a new site for the Beargrass Village pocket neighborhood.

Arey said once they firm up their plans for the site, they’ll go back to the Neighborhood Council and offer an update.

Beargrass Village gets initial design approval for Great Falls’ first pocket neighborhood

NWGF received grant funding from NeighborWorks America and a portion of that grant is being used to redevelop the Kranz property, so Arey said they expect to have some movement on the property by this summer to meet the grant requirements.

“We’re disappointed it’s not going to be the pocket neighborhood,” Arey said. “But we’re confident we can do affordable housing there and enhance the neighborhood.”

In December, City Commissioners voted to approved a planned unit development zoning and subdivision of the property.

According to city staff, the PUD has been filed, so it will have to be amended to just do single family residential on the property. The plat with the subdivided lot lines hasn’t been filed, so the property retains the original lot lines.