December Virtual Midtown Mixer Hosted by Southgate Mall

Join fellow members of the Missoula Midtown Association via Zoom for a Virtual Midtown Mixer, Tuesday, December 1, beginning at 4:00 PM sponsored by Southgate Mall.

Join Zoom Meeting
CLICK HERE
Meeting ID: 870 4277 3239
+1 346 248 7799 US

Given the lack of regular social gatherings as of late, we would like to invite you to attend our monthly virtual meeting to connect all members and provide a venue for all who are willing to share news about how your business, organization, and team are doing through these unique times.

We will open with comments from Midtown Association President, Mark Bellon and then Southgate Mall will discuss how COVID has affected them and how they are planning for the holidays.

This interactive and educational event is one you won’t want to miss. If your office (or home-office) allows it, we encourage you to enjoy a cold beverage during the call, if you would like, to help create that “Mixer” feel.

We look forward to connecting with you!

Seeking Applicants for Missoula Midtown Association Executive Director

SCOPE OF WORK

The major project of the Executive Director will be the creation of a Midtown Master Plan. The Downtown Master Planning process has primed community leaders, residents, and businesses to engage in a similar process for Midtown successfully. However, the plans will be very different as Midtown and Downtown have different identities, both vital to Missoula.

Recognizing the pressing need for cohesion around a vision that embraces our existing character, encourages equitable development, and promotes healthy urbanism, the Midtown Association wrote the attached whitepaper as a roadmap to achieve this objective. Goals of the Master Plan include:

  • Provide a voice for the people who live in, work in, and utilize Midtown. Create a space for residents, workers, and users to articulate the unique characteristics that should be preserved. Discover new ways to engage disenfranchised populations and implement their ideas.
  • Promote equitable development. Ensure neighborhood balance with factors that promote healthy urbanism like affordable housing and retail, nearby groceries, manufacturing and other living-wage jobs, business incubation space, accessible parks, clean indoor and outdoor environments, quality education and growth opportunities, social gathering spaces, and mobility for all people and modes with reliable and safe transportation connections.
  • Create predictability for private investment. Attract and retain development that meets the community vision for Midtown. Provide a clear path forward, so developers have fewer hurdles when approaching design, permitting, zoning, and regulatory agencies.
  • Promote a sense of belonging. Nurture the social fabric of Midtown. Promote positive and diverse human interaction. Hone and promote the Midtown brand and drive right-sized business in the area. Maintain existing and attract new businesses that meet the needs of a safe and connected neighborhood.
  • Leverage local dollars to attract Federal infrastructure funding. Position Midtown for large capital grants to build transformative infrastructure, such as transit, which serves new and existing populations. Improve the Brooks Street Corridor to meet the multimodal transportation pressures of growth in Midtown, Miller Creek, and the Bitterroot Valley while improving – and not sacrificing – livability. Improve east-west connectivity in Midtown.
  • Build on existing planning initiatives for Midtown. Incorporate previous work. Several studies have been done of the area, each building on the previous effort. This will be the most ambitious scope of work to- date and should incorporate work from the last two decades years, including the Urban Renewal District III Plan (2000), the ULI Report (2003), and the Brooks Street Corridor Study (2016).

The deliverable will be an all-inclusive Master Plan in a multi-media format that accomplishes the project goals. It will incorporate a comprehensive strategy to engage public and private businesses, citizens, and stakeholders, emphasizing disenfranchised populations. This will require innovative approaches to working directly with groups who are left out of traditional public processes. Likewise, there are multi-

jurisdictional agencies located in Midtown, including the City of Missoula, Montana Department of Transportation, and Missoula County. The Master Plan needs to be developed in close coordination with these agencies, as its success requires their backing, and in some cases, their adoption.

Work will begin by gaining a full understanding of the existing land use and infrastructure conditions, including conducting a review of all previous planning efforts for the area, such as those by Midtown Mojo. The effort will analyze the transportation network’s ability, utilities, and communications infrastructure to handle future land use, and if needed, will provide recommendations for improvements that include cost estimates. The infrastructure needs assessment will dovetail with creating a land-use plan that articulates the community vision and can be incorporated into governing policies. If needed, it will include zoning language to aid governing agencies in adjusting the code to encourage the type of development desired. Finally, the Master Plan will include implementation strategies to assist the community in prioritizing action items.

Creating the plan will require a multi-disciplinary team comprised of civil engineers, traffic engineers, parking specialists, land-use planners, architects, economists, public outreach specialists, historians, cultural experts, art experts, landscape architects, and local stakeholders. The estimated project schedule is 18 months, and the project budget is estimated to be $450,000 to $550,000. This figure does not include the fees to pay the Executive Director.

The Executive Director will be responsible for ensuring the project goals are met. Work will include, but is not limited to:

  • Ensuring the Association/Foundation has the professional creditability to conduct the Master Planning process – this may include website updates, content creation, and social media engagement
  • Raising funding for the Master Planning process and for operational expenses, such as fee’s for the Executive Director
  • Creating and managing subcommittees as needed – such as a Steering Committee, Technical Advisory Committee, and Implementation Committee
  • Being the public face and speaking on behalf of the Association/Foundation
  • Providing periodic progress updates to the Foundation/Association board
  • Managing a fair and open procurement process for a consultant team, as required by public sector partners
  • Managing the consultant team
  • Working with Association and Board treasurers to ensure payments to the consultant team are accurate and made in a timely manner
  • Proving for an inclusive public process and finding new ways to engage people who have been left out of community decision making
  • Rolling out the plan for adoption to participating boards, agencies, and stakeholders
  • Capitalizing on the planning process by working with Association board members to sign up participants as Midtown Association members
  • Working with the board to dovetail Master Planning with board efforts such as Midtown Mixers and membership drives
  • Wrapping up the project and leaving the Association/Foundation in a position to implement the plan, including legacy planning for an ongoing Executive Director and more staff.

QUALIFICATIONS

The Missoula Midtown Association is seeking a highly-skilled licensed independent contractor or person with a Montana Limited Liability Corporation with the following qualifications:

  • Missoula relationships. Previous experience working on major projects in Missoula. Both private and public sector relationships, especially in Midtown Missoula and with state and local governments.
  • Project management. Has successfully managed multi-disciplinary teams of consultants and/or staff on major projects.
  • Fundraising. Can demonstrate expertise in donor cultivation/prospect research, major gifts, event planning, solicitation, multi-year giving strategies, volunteer coordination.
  • Public relations. Experience working with the Missoula press corps, on social media, and with the public-at-large. Experience working with local business.
  • Advocacy experience. Has worked in a promotional role before. Is comfortable publicly representing a position and advocating for an area/policy/idea/etc.
  • Land use planning knowledge. Has an understanding of land use and redevelopment. Has a solid grasp on equitable redevelopment and healthy urbanism theory.
  • Is a Montana Limited Liability Corporation or is a licensed Independent Contractor in Montana.
  • Has Workman Compensation Insurance, or is willing to obtain it

SUBMISSION

The proposal should be submitted electronically as a PDF to the Midtown Board of Directors at Midtown@MissoulaMidtown.com by 5:00pm on December 1, 2020. Submittals must include the following:

  • A letter of interest
  • A resume or vita
  • A fee proposal for a two-year contract
  • Three references with contact information
  • Proof of Montana LLC or Independent Contractor license
  • Proof of Workmen Compensation insurance or statement showing a willingness to obtain it
  • A five-page maximum narrative that demonstrates an understanding of the scope of work, knowledge of Midtown and Missoula, approach to the project, relevant experience, and availability to work on a project of this magnitude.

Additional background information about the position and association can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Midtown Master Plan Whitepaper

In January 2020, due to unprecedented and exhilarating growth in Midtown Missoula, and in anticipation of more changes to come, the Missoula Midtown Association (MMA) adopted strategic goals calling for the creation and implementation of a Midtown Master Plan. Recognizing the pressing need for cohesion around a vision that embraces our existing character, encourages equitable development, and promotes healthy urbanism, the Midtown Association formed a whitepaper committee to lay out the path to make a Midtown Master Plan a reality. The committee, which is made up of both MMA board leaders and members, convened virtually and met with community leaders over the summer of 2020. The whitepaper is broken up into four sections: goals, project scope and cost, Midtown Association structure, and interview findings.

Even amidst the pandemic, Midtown is growing rapidly. Without a community plan for the area, we risk being caught flatfooted when market demand for development increases beyond our community capacity to manage it. A haphazard approach to revitalization will likely lead to frustration for developers and local officials as well as poor outcomes for current residents or gentrification that pushes them out of Midtown altogether. A well-developed plan created through an inclusive process will offer predictability and preserve the qualities we love about Midtown.

Take a look at the Midtown Master Plan Whitepaper by clicking HERE and stay tuned as we progress on this exciting path, focused on the vision and future of our beloved Midtown Missoula.

The Missoula Midtown Association is seeking to hire a professional Executive Director. Details can be viewed HERE.

Mountain Line Releases Special Bus-to-Ballot Map Ahead of Election

In an effort to increase accessibility and access for voters this fall, Mountain Line has released a special Bus-to-Ballot map this week. The map details the public transportation routes Missoulians can take to access various ballot drop-off locations and the Elections Center. All Mountain Line services are ADA accessible and zero-fare. 

“Transportation shouldn’t be a barrier to participating in our democracy,” said Corey Aldridge, Mountain Line general manager. “Mountain Line is proud to offer accessible, zero-fare service to all Missoulians, helping to create a more equitable community to benefit us all.” 

Please note the Elections Center is open daily, now through Election Day, but all other ballot drop-off locations are open only on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. Mountain Line is operating Tuesday, November 3. 

For voting information and location hours visit MissoulaVotes.com. Find Mountain Line route schedules here

Mountain Line Expansion Needed to Address Growth

As Missoula grows, access to affordable, reliable transportation is critical. That’s why Mountain Line updated its strategic plan after hearing from Missoulians their desire for increased service.
Mountain Line is asking for a mill levy investment of 20 mills, raising approximately $3 million annually, to:

  1. Implement seven-day and seven-night transit service, expand weekend service, including adding Sunday service for the first time.
  2. Increase bus frequency on heavily used routes.
  3. Add additional early-morning and late-evening service.
  4. Enhance our Zero-Fare program, and,
  5. Support the conversion of our fleet to meet our 2035 zero-tailpipe-emissions goal.

A reliable public transit system helps employees get to work, students get to school, and those with limited resources access health care and affordable housing. It supports connectivity between Missoula’s business community, which in turn substantially benefits our local economy. And, our seniors and people with disabilities benefit from Mountain Line’s Paratransit and Shuttle Van services.

Mountain Line contributes to local and regional transportation planning efforts and creates opportunities for investment of federal dollars in our local community. Improved bus service and expanded hours will also further support economic development and revitalization efforts in Midtown.

The benefits are real. More people riding the bus equates to reduced traffic congestion, shorter commute times, improved air quality, and a healthier community as more people choose active transportation.
Mountain Line helps make Missoula a more livable, equitable, and prosperous community, which benefits us all.
Learn more at www.mountainline.com/mill-levy.