Woodbury Corporation has purchased a property in Urban Renewal District III located at 1515 Dearborn Avenue, which is bounded by Russell and Washburn Streets and Dearborn and Fairview Avenues. The property currently contains the former Five Valley’s Bowling Center / Lucky Strike casino and a former car wash. The casino/bowling alley closed in early 2016. The car wash closed a few years ago.

At its July 21, 2016 meeting the MRA Board approved a request from the developer to proceed without prejudice with building deconstruction and site demolition.

Project Description

The developer is proposing to deconstruct the 30,000 sf bowling center and 2,200 sf carwash and build an approximately 12,000 sf tire store and two 9,500 sf restaurant pads, with an associated 152-space parking lot. The proposed site design also includes curb, sidewalk and landscape improvements in the public right-of-way, including 29 new street trees at the perimeter of the site.

The tire store will be a Les Schwab franchise that will move from its current location on Brooks Street to this site. The developer is proposing to locate the new Les Schwab on the eastern side of the site with the eight service bays facing the interior of the site and the rear façade of the building on Russell Street. A glass-walled show room is located at the north end, at the corner of Russell Street and Dearborn Avenue. This orientation focuses the building activity to the interior of the site and presents a large expanse of unanimated block wall along Russell Street.

To break up the extent of the rear façade along Russell Street, the developer is proposing a series of architectural elements including shallow “columns” and a decorative metal trellis and several panels of decorative screen mesh. A planting bed between the sidewalk and the building will provide some buffering.

The developer is anticipating that the two building sites on the west end of the site will attract restaurant tenants, although tenants have not yet been confirmed. The applicant has included a list of potential tenants that includes Kneaders, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Wild Ginger and Corner Bakery, among others.

Most of us know it simply as Brooks Street. Others think about it as the home to Southgate Mall or the Fairgrounds. Recently, we’re beginning to see it as the stage for new development and shopping places. However you think about it, there’s a lot happening in Missoula’s Midtown.

With activity comes opportunity, and soon you’ll have the opportunity to get to know Midtown a little better. Beyond that—and of great importance—you’ll have the opportunity to help craft a vision that helps to enhance and enrich the Midtown community of which you are a part.

The Opportunity

Earlier this year, a group of partner organizations comprised of the Missoula Midtown Association, Missoula Redevelopment Agency, City of Missoula and several private organizations won a grant from New Mobility West. New Mobility West is an initiative of the nonprofit organization Community Builders, which works with people throughout the West to help build prosperous, successful places.

The grant focuses on the Brooks Street corridor, the main transportation artery linking Midtown together. The grant helps the partner organizations meet with area shareholders through a series of discussions, workshops and activities that will result in a community-driven vision for the area. Brooks is the next area planned for high-frequency bus service and development activity is picking up—now is the time to get involved in the future of Midtown.

You Matter

As a Missoula resident, your voice is important. You are a shareholder in the future of Midtown, so please participate. Here’s how:

  • Online A short questionnaire you can complete on your phone or at your home. Available now through September 30 at:
  • Community get-together #1 A chance to learn more about this project and provide feedback. Tuesday, September 13 at 6:30 in the Home Arts Building, County Fairgrounds.
  • Workshop Design, development and desires for Midtown are explored, discussed and visualized. Drop in to the Home Arts Building on Wednesday, September 14 anytime between 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
  • Community get-together #2 Summary and review of project and concepts. Wednesday, September 14 at 6:30 in the Home Arts Building.

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