NeighborWorks developing inventory of vacant upper floors in downtown Great Falls

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NeighborWorks Great Falls has launched a project to inventory the vacant spaces on the upper floors of buildings in downtown Great Falls.

During a late May meeting of the Downtown Development Partnership, Carol Bronson on NWGF described the project, which is done in conjunction with NeighborWorks America.

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Gary Hackett, a downtown business owner, said a lot of the buildings downtown have vacant upper floors because the upper spaces have a lot of issues that would require significant and costly work to render them usable.

Bronson said they’ll be collecting data and want to make a map of the downtown that shows the vacant buildings and their general condition.

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Bronson said that data will be shared with partner agencies and could be useful in getting development downtown.

Sherrie Arey, NWGF director, said they want to have the data available to help make decisions in the downtown area and are trying to find ways to make the data usable and share with partners.

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Bronson said they’ll have volunteers walking around the area doing surveys, they’ll have iPads and forms.

Bronson told The Electric that they’re surveying buildings, blocks and residents to formulate strategies and gather data to “do thoughtful planning.”

They’ll also be gathering input on what the barriers are to development in the downtown area.

New apartment complexes in the city are impacting the downtown apartments and condos, she said.