Business Bites: Love’s underway; former Holiday Motors demolition; touro medical school project ongoing; C.M. Russell Museum expansion underway; airport requesting TIF funds for industrial park, one tenant will be truck wash; reading at Cassiopeia


Dirt is moving for the new Love’s Travel Stop and Country Stores off the I-15 interchange at Gore Hill on the airport side.

According to city planning, the building permit was ready to be issued, but the architect submitted some minor revisions that needed staff review.

Since the engineering drawings were not revised and the contractor was ready to get started, city planning gave them the go ahead to start preparing the property, according to Tom Micuda, deputy planning director.

The Love’s is currently scheduled to open at the end of this year, weather dependent.

The location will have a Subway, Chester’s Chicken, Godfather’s Pizza and fresh food, snack and drink options, a Love’s spokeswoman told The Electric.

The location will also have truck and car parking, laundry, showers, CAT scales and the newest electronics in Love’s Mobile to Go Zone. Check the company website for job openings.

Annexation approved for Love’s truck stop near airport

In 2019, City Commissioners approved the annexation of 2.775 acres of airport owned property into the city for the project and Love’s is leasing the land from the airport.

Love’s annexation gets initial approval
Love’s Travel Stop annexation on city planning board agenda Tuesday

Former Holiday Motors

The building located at 3051 10th Ave. South is owned by the Zadick family and city planning issued them an interior demolition permit on April 30 to start removing and salvaging interior elements from the existing building. Once they’ve salvaged the items that they need, city planning staff said they expect to receive another demolition permit to remove the building entirely.

City planning staff is in discussions with an interested developer for the property, but nothing official has been submitted, according to city planning.

Touro medical school

Work to open the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine by a nonprofit university system headquartered in New York on property owned by Benefis Health System is ongoing.

According to the May 2021 CEO report from Benefis Health System, as provided to the City of Great Falls city manager’s officer, Touro was expected to submit its initial accreditation application to the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation) by the end of April.

Benefis working to bring medical school to Great Falls

The Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and serves the public by establishing, maintaining and applying accreditation standards and procedure to ensure that academic quality and continuous quality improvement delivered by the colleges of osteopathic medicine reflect the evolving practice of osteopathic medicine, according to John Goodnow’s report.

If the application is deemed complete, then the proposed Great Falls medical school project will be on the commission’s agenda for their Aug. 27-29 meeting, according to Goodnow’s report.

In his report, Goodnow said the project has letters of support from

  • Gov. Greg Gianforte
  • Montana American Indian Caucus of the Montana Legislature
  • Montana Director of lndian Affairs Misty Kuhl
  • Fort Belknap Tribe
  • Fort Peck Tribe
  • Little Shell Tribe
  • BHS Native American Advisory Board
  • Indian Family Health Clinic
  • McLaughlin Research Institute
  • Great Falls Mayor Bob Kelly
  • Great Falls Development Authority
  • Cascade County Commissioners
  • Region 2 rural hospitals
  • Alluvion Health
  • Carroll College
  • University of Providence

The project also has clinical affiliation agreements with nine different hospitals/health systems; rotation placements for the planned 125 students with the first round planned for fall 2026; academic affiliations are being developed with local colleges as well as other Montana institutions and a research affiliation has been developed between Touro and the McLaughlin Research Institute, according to Goodnow’s report.

Dirt near Hardee’s

Yes, there’s dirt next to the former Hardee’s downtown. It’s been there for months. It’s just a holding space for the dirt from the townhouse construction on 2nd Avenue North next to Smoked. Both lots are owned by the same person. Popeye’s still isn’t buying the old Hardee’s, according to Popeye’s.

Restaurant rumors

C.M. Russell Museum construction

Construction is in full swing on the C.M. Russell Museum campus expansion project and with the help of LPW Architects, Land Design, Woith Engineering, and United Materials, 5th Avenue North has been closed and removed. The former parking lots have also been demolished and crews have started leveling the ground for new pathways and grass. The project is on schedule for completion in late-July.

C.M. Russell Museum breaking ground March 19 for expansion

If you plan to visit the museum, park on 4th Avenue North and enter through the south entrance between the House and Studio.

City approves changes to landscape code; rezone, lot aggregation, road vacation for Russell Museum

Book reading at Cassiopeia Books

Pseudonymous author Tan Swiftwater will be speaking at Cassiopeia Books at 4 p.m. May 22 about his thriller, Force of Will, based on a true story of betrayal by the hero’s wife, children and the religious organization that was a driving force in their lives.

Airport TIF request

The Great Falls International Airport Authority is requesting $110,000 from the Great Falls International Airport Tax Increment Financing Industrial District to reimburse $70,000 of eligible infrastructure improvement design and $40,000 of eligible construction costs.

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

The City Commission will consider the request during their May 18 meeting.

The airport is seeking the funds to begin development of a 300-acre area west of the Cascade County Adult Detention Center, north of the I-15 corridor and south of the Ulm North Frontage Road. The area is owned by the airport and was identified in the Airport Authority Master Plan Update for aviation commercial development.

TIF funds are being requested to support construction of the following infrastructure improvements:

  • Water service lines
  • Sewer service lines
  • Storm sewer improvements, including a new detention pond
  • Electric/data service lines
  • Two roadway access points into the site and a circulation road that would both support the proposed development and open up additional area for future development

The infrastructure improvements will be constructed to support a phased industrial development project consisting of industrial condo spaces. They will be large metal buildings subdivided into condominium bay spaces that will be marketed and leased or sold to businesses and individuals. The buildings will be capable of accommodating businesses looking for anywhere between 1,250 square foot bays to an entire 30,000 square foot building. The first phase of development will include construction of the infrastructure improvements as well as construction of a single building containing 3-8 full drive-through bays, which could be further divided into 6-16 half-bays.

At this point, one building tenant is known and would utilize two of the building bays, according to the staff report, and is Falls Truck Wash. This would be a drive-through wash facility catering to: 1) trucks entering Canada that are required to be washed prior to entry into the country, and 2) trucks carrying crops, food products, and livestock that must be washed between loads to avoid contamination.

The applicant plans to start construction of the infrastructure improvements in the spring of this year. This will require an investment of $973,028 prior to building construction. The airport has also requested that the city bond against current and future TIF increment revenue to reimburse the airport for an additional $652,780 of eligible construction costs. This creates a total request of $762,780 for TIF funding. The overall investment in the project over a 20-year development period, including the GFIA TIFID contribution, is estimated to be $12,626,667, according to the city staff report.

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