Kalispell Mulls Swapping Lots for Potential Parking Garage

By Beacon Staff

Although much of Kalispell’s current and potential growth is happening further north, the rebirth of downtown may be next.

Monday night’s informal work session at the Kalispell City Council meeting addressed the proposed land swap between the city of Kalispell and Valley Bank and, for the most part, it went unfettered. If the proposal goes through, Valley Bank and the city would exchange lots in a five-for-five swap, which would include tearing down the current Valley Bank structure on Third Street West to make room for a new city-owned, half-block parking garage. Valley Bank would then acquire five city lots on Main Street where its new bank would then stand.

At the moment, one setback is an appraisal discrepancy between the two properties. The five city-owned lots are valued at $77,000 more than the banks five lots, which would require Valley Bank to pay the difference to the city before the proposal could go through.

“The council is in support of the negotiations and the agreement of the five-for-five lot exchange to accommodate a new building,” Mayor Pam Kennedy said. “This is not a parking lot issue, but a land swap. The land swap allows us the opportunity to move toward a parking facility.”

The proposed garage would be a mixed-use building, which would include parking, commercial and residential space and, in part, would have to pay for itself because funding is currently unavailable. Although traffic impact fees have been suggested as a way to pay for its construction.

Related: Kalispell Weighs Parking Garage