Kalispell Sells Final Old School Station Lot

All six parcels are now sold or under contract; Rails-to-Trails tunnel mural paintings to begin this summer

By Maggie Dresser
Kalispell City Hall on March 16, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Kalispell City Council motioned to proceed with the sale of the final Old School Station lot, one of six parcels south of downtown that the city acquired in 2015.

Bill Phillips of DCP Kalispell LLC made the offer on Lot 4 at the appraised price of $293,000, which was conducted by Clark Real Estate Appraisal in 2015. The city received an additional offer on the lot from another buyer.

Kalispell became responsible for the six-parcel property’s past due taxes and assessments and the council passed a resolution to retain and sell the lots at the appraised prices in 2015 to avoid defaulting on Special Improvement District Bonds. The properties were listed for sale in 2017 in the Technology Tax Increment (TIF) District at Old School Station.

Under the buy-sell agreement, the buyer agrees to complete new construction on the site within 18 months of sale.

“We are at the completion of this assuming they all sell,” City Manager Doug Russell said.

Separately, the council approved the Rails-to-Trails tunnel art agreement, which outlines approvals and responsibilities and creates the next step to begin mural work on the tunnel wall entries between the Kidsports and Flathead Valley Community College.

KALICO Art Center and Rails-to-Trails of Northwest Montana collaborated for the “Tunnel Vision” project to facilitate murals at the two tunnel entrances. Now with the council’s approval, artists will begin the project at the end of June or early July.

“It was a great process,” KALICO Board Chair Alisha Shilling said. “We had over 60 applications from all over the state of Montana and it was juried by nine people from our community.”

“It’s important for Kalispell to have these spots that fit our community but also make people remember what could just be a blank wall going through a tunnel, and that’s characteristic of Kalispell,” Councilor Kyle Waterman said.

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