About five years ago when local resident and developer Molly McCabe began helping on a project originally slated for a new library, she wasn’t looking to acquire a property for development.
But after the library fell through, she saw an opportunity and continued working to create a multi-use development to incorporate mixed-income residential and commercial space to the former CHS Agronomy Center on Fourth Avenue EN adjacent to the new Parkline Trail.
“This is truly a labor of love,” McCabe said.
The property is now part of Kalispell’s federally designated Opportunity Zone, which the city along with Flathead County Economic Development Authority has invested in to promote economic redevelopment. The partnership has helped redevelop 45 acres of vacant or underutilized properties throughout downtown Kalispell.
McCabe has been working with city and community leaders, including Kim Morisaki, Tom Jentz, Katharine King and Jarod Nygren, to bring the economic redevelopment dream to fruition following years of planning and grant funding in preparation for Kalispell’s growth.
The 5-acre parcel’s development is still in the early stages and McCabe is working with a local designer to create a mixed space that will include at least 80 units, likely apartments and townhomes, along with local restaurants and retail space.
“We are really trying to be thoughtful of what the community is looking for while not overwhelming them but still bringing a lively location with restaurants and entrepreneurial businesses,” McCabe said. “It’s really a live-work location.”
Located along the new Parkline Trail, McCabe wants to create a connectivity point between Woodland Park and downtown Kalispell and she is prioritizing local businesses and partners.
In addition to connectivity and a local focus McCabe is also creating an environmentally sustainable project that will include bicycle racks and electric vehicle charging stations. Space for food trucks, festivals and other events will also be available between buildings.
“I’m very focused on it being all local,” she said. “Local contractors, designers, businesses and artisans. That’s been my focus since the very beginning and I think it’s really important to give back to the community.”
McCabe hasn’t locked down any businesses just yet, but she says the proximity to the trail has sparked more interest than she expected.
With a resume that mostly entails larger development projects in the Pacific Northwest as the CEO and founder of HaydenTanner, this is McCabe’s first local project after partnering with Keane Enterprises, LLC, TBDevelopment and Land Veritas to form Parkline Properties, LLC.
“Once I started to look at what we could create and how excited people in the community were to create something different that supported the local economy, I thought ‘Let’s make something cool here,’” McCabe said.
McCabe plans to finish the design phase by the end of the year and following city input, she hopes to start building by March 2022.
“What’s important to me is creating and supporting community,” McCabe said. “This really does that and it meets so many needs from a housing perspective and to have a different type of product that we don’t already have. I would hope it brings a lot of activity to this area.”
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