True Brew to go inside new Independence Bank on the river; land swap on April 6 City Commission agenda

Independence Bank has released more of their plans for their new location at the corner of River Drive and 9th Street North.

The project goes to the City Commission on April 6 for consideration of a land swap and two subdivision actions.

The proposed land swap with the city would allow future connection for the River’s Edge Trail to the 10th Street Bridge.

Commission considering land swap for bank, trail connection

The bank is working with local contractors to finalize construction plans and when completed, the Great Falls location will be a full-service branch, according to the bank.

Architect’s rendering for the proposed Independence Bank location on the Missouri River at the corner of River Drive and 9th Street North.

True Brew will be the coffee shop on the first floor of the three-story building, with a full service menu, indoor seating, a drive-through window and an outdoor patio, according to the bank.

The city planning board voted March 9 to recommend approval of the subdivision actions.

“A community bank with six branches across the Hi-Line, Independence Bank has spent nearly 50 years fostering growth and success for Montana towns and industries. With assets of $980 million, Independence Bank is a full-service bank providing a wide array of banking services, with extensive expertise in agricultural, commercial, consumer, and residential real estate lending. The land swap with the City of Great Falls feels like the perfect start in a new community and a reflection of our core values,” according to a release from the bank.

Bank planning new site on river, proposed land swap would allow trail connection on 10th Street Bridge

The bank has a loan production office/deposit production office in Great Falls and over the last two years, “it has become clear that expansion into the Great Falls community and Cascade County is a good fit for Independence Bank,” according to a release. “Specializing in commercial, real estate and agriculture lending, we look forward to being a vital member of the Great Falls community and the surrounding area.”

When completed, the new trail would continue downstream along the river embankment from under the 9th Street Bridge to the south abutment of the 10th Street Bridge. From there, trail users could continue downstream using existing trail along River Drive North or cross the Historic Tenth Street Bridge to connect with north shore trails, according to the River’s Edge Trail foundation.

Once a connector trail is established between the bridge and the existing trail along River Drive North, the trail and bridge would open to public access.

10th Street Bridge selected as city’s 2020 ornament

“The new alignment offers two significant advantages over current trail at that location. First, the new route provides both safety and scenic improvements. Second, it establishes a permanent River’s Edge Trail connection to the south end of 10th Street Bridge. With trail connections at both ends of the bridge, the 10th Street Bridge becomes a new, fully separated river crossing for pedestrians and bicycles. In addition, the new route provides an opportunity to experience the incredible restoration work that has followed successful efforts to save the historic bridge,” according to the foundation.

Restoration of 10th Street Bridge ongoing

City utility services are currently in place for the extension of service lines to serve the bank portion of the development at the bank’s expense.