Ignite 2021 highlights local business, development

The Great Falls Development Authority hosted its 2021 Ignite event on Jan. 22 highlighting projects in the community.

The Electric has reported most of them already, so we’ve compiled a list here of those reports with some updates.

Great Falls International Airport: Business Bites: Rock N Chalk gym moving; Hopper and Ro reopens; pharmacies closing; Corda’s new album; Embark donates to local groups; airport considering light industrial park; GFCMSU dental clinic expansion underway, launches new partnership for business programs

Downtown townhouses: Business Bites: Cassiopeia Books moving; Rod’s music under new ownership; Celtic Cowboy reopening; Boutique Co. closing; Nourish food truck; downtown residential; Fuddruckers open for takeout

Residential units planned for vacant lot on 2nd Avenue North

The townhouses are listed for sale here

Malmstrom Air Force Base: Malmstrom still set to receive new helicopter first, no change in delivery order

New tactical response/helicopter operations facility at Malmstrom nearly complete

Alluvion Health: Alluvion pursuing EPA grant for Rocky Mountain Building cleanup

Alluvion has also launched a foundation, headed by Brianne Laurin, to assist in fundraising. 

Coworking space: Business Bites: Zandy’s demolition; Town Pump building car washes; 721 Central Avenue renovation; Alluvion Health buys more space

City of Great Falls: City continuing plans on aquatics center for Lions Park

City reinvesting savings from park district projects into other Park and Rec improvements

Commissioners approve use of TIF funds for $8 million Civic Center repair project

City considering contract for Civic Center office space remodel (project approved and underway)

City awards $217K contract to finish repairs at Fox Farm fire station

Downtown apartments: Developers requesting tax abatements for three projects

Business Bites: 18 apartments coming to floors above Mighty Mo; Jah-T’aime closing

Developers said they hope to open the Northern Lofts apartments over the Mighty Mo by May and start accepting applications this spring.

Milwaukee Station: Easements approved for Milwaukee Station project

Milwaukee Station zone change approved

Business Bites: Mixed use, apartments planned for Milwaukee Station area; new spa downtown; facade uncovered at butcher shop

Great Falls College-MSU: Business Bites: Rock N Chalk gym moving; Hopper and Ro reopens; pharmacies closing; Corda’s new album; Embark donates to local groups; airport considering light industrial park; GFCMSU dental clinic expansion underway, launches new partnership for business programs

313 Central Avenue: Business Bites: New insurance office; KellerGeist expansion; distillery planning to open spring 2021 downtown; Baskin Robbins closing; Last Straw Bistro closing

Business Bites: 313 Central renovations; Beer and Brats on the Bay; Firehouse Steamers opening; virtual Home and Garden Show; Great Falls Trolley tours postponed; local artist collaborate for Benefis design

Downtown group approves amendment for Civic Center repairs; TIF application for private development on tonight’s Commission agenda

Alliance for Youth: Youth Resource Center is open and operational, with continued improvements underway. The center is located at 3220 11th Ave. S.

EPAGA Homecare: Tye Taylor said the EPAGA franchise is expanding into Great Falls

KellerGeist Pub Theater: Mattias Schalper said they’re moving into the plan to renovate the rest of their building with future plans to host comedy acts, small music acts, film and more.

They hope to begin construction this year.

Business Bites: New insurance office; KellerGeist expansion; distillery planning to open spring 2021 downtown; Baskin Robbins closing; Last Straw Bistro closing

Great Falls Clinic: Wayne Gillis said the housing project for patients and their families is ahead of the construction schedule and will open in July.

Foundation announces another major donor for Great Falls Clinic hotel project

RPP Fitness-Crossfit: They RFPP Fitness-Crossfit lease is running out so Kate McKamey said they purchased a lot at 1201th St. S. near the Sting to build their own facility that will also offer daycare. The steel structure will be 75 feet by 90 feet with large garage doors, she said. They’re hoping to start laying concrete in February and open this summer.

Game Night Lounge: Business Bites: Luna Coffee Bar opening; Eklund’s Fine Furniture closing; Game Night Lounge; Not Your Mama’s Nutrition; Ulmers 75th anniversary; Cakes for Thought; Broadwater Coffee offering discount for support of local businesses; Hoyt and Blewett remodel; restaurants bring back family meals

Great Falls Community Ice Foundation: The Great Falls Community Ice Foundation is launching a capital campaign for improvements to make the Great Falls Ice Plex a preferred destination for hockey tournaments, skating competitions and yearround events including concerts and expos.

The master plan includes six phases, prioritized by need and approved by the foundation’s board of directors, for the first major improvements since the facility opened more than a decade ago.

The first phase includes constructing new locker rooms.

When the small, unheated locker rooms were constructed at the south end of the rink more than a decade ago, they were meant to be temporary. They do not meet sanctioned standards to host hockey tournaments or figure skating competitions. At least five locker rooms are needed for rink operations and this phase moves in that direction with the construction of three new permanent locker rooms, each with its own shower and restroom in comfortably, conditioned space.

The estimated cost for the first phase is $575,000.

Future phases include a new main entry concourse; referee locker rooms; a mezzanine for prime ice viewing and media/announcing facilities; locker rooms for the Great Falls Americans and University of Providence.

Holiday Inn: The Dhillon Company is planning to bring back the Tony Roma’s restaurant this summer and add about 10,000 square feet of meeting space at the Holiday Inn at 1100 5th St. S.

Farran Group apartments: The city approved an updated design for a 216-unit apartment complex at the corner of Division Road and Smelter Avenue Northwest in 2017 and then the project stalled.

The developer, Farran Realty Partners, the same company that built the Talus Apartments south of Benefis Health System, is planning the 216 apartments in a six building complex on 9.2 acres.

But, the project is now moving forward and the city received applications for building permits on Dec. 30. According to city planning staff, their office issued review comments and the developer is preparing a revised permit application.

The project is likely to start construction in the spring.

The proposed design for a 216-unit apartment complex for the corner of Division Road and Smelter Avenue Northwest was approved last year, but went back to the Design Review Board this week due to a major change in the layout and building configuration.

Here’s background on the project: Updated design of 216-unit apartment complex approved by city board