Parking, Pedestrians, and Perhaps a New Face

By Beacon Staff

“As far as we know, it’s the only full block re-development project in Montana,” explained Lisa Jones, community outreach coordinator for the Block 46 project. It’s definitely the largest in downtown Whitefish. The 80,000-square-foot development will not only put a different face on downtown, but add a mixed-use building complex–the first of its kind in Whitefish and one intended to blend with its neighbors.

With the sensitivity to development around Whitefish, the new owner of the entire city block–Great Northern Ventures, LLC—has been holding community informational meetings as well as gathering input from the City and neighbors about their plans. But don’t worry: If you missed the meetings, you can check what’s up for Block 46 online.

Located between Spokane and Kalispell Avenues and 2nd and 3rd Streets, Block 46 comprises a mix of commercial and residential properties. Currently, Stacey Oil has been razed along with removal of 10,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil to a depth of 23 feet—three times deeper than the Montana Department of Environmental Quality anticipated. Three remaining homes will be moved and donated to the Whitefish Affordable Housing program, while the future of the title company building is undetermined.

Using the Downtown Master Plan guidelines, Great Northern Ventures planning team led by Paul Johannsen is attempting to meld commercial and residential buildings, underground parking, and public open spaces. You can check out their plans and current status of the development at their new website launched today: www.block46.com.

“It’ll be an asset to the community, to provide people with a pedestrian environment,” said Jones. “It should have a nice impact on downtown businesses.”

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