The Missoula Redevelopment Agency agrees to help with the redevelopment of a major new bank building with one of the largest investments in the Midtown neighborhood in several years.

First Security Bank is planning to spend over $ 23 million for a new, three-story building, consolidating operations from multiple older buildings into a single new location.

Thursday, the MRA board approved a request to invest in the redevelopment using $711,000 in Tax Increment Financing, helping to pay for additional community improvements surrounding the new building.

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Annie Gorski, the MRA's Executive Director, explains this project started with the "deconstruction" of one of First Security's older buildings last year.

"And that building was obsolete and no longer in use, so part of the funds, per our policy, is to deconstruct that building. So those materials are salvaged, recycled, reused rather than sent to the landfill," Gorski told Newstalk KGVO's Peter Christian this week.

"TIF" tools represent a public/private partnership

Gorski explains using the "TIF" tools is a way to have a public-private partnership to maximize the investment in the site, paying for additional features like sidewalks, landscaping, and adjacent parks.

"So in this case, they've requested just over $700,000. We anticipate based on the calculations that this project will triple or more the property tax generated from the two parcels."

Gorski explains the property tax base formed when the Urban Renewal District was set up for Midtown continues to flow into the local taxing jurisdictions for services from the city, and other agencies to serve the public.

"But essentially, those property taxes are still going to those agencies, taxing jurisdictions that use them to invest in roads, parks, all the things that are needed in our Community and that our community wants," Gorski explained.

Plenty of local work in the project

MRA says First Security expects to use 20 local subcontractors on the new building, which will use a "Cross Laminated Timber" design for a theme supporting First Security's history in Western Montana. About 150 people will work on the project, with 90 percent of the work going to Montana businesses.

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