Construction of the new Stockman Bank building in downtown Missoula is expected to break ground this fall, though work to relocate overhead utility lines has already begun.
The bank announced in November its plans to construct a multi-level building on the corner of West Broadway and Orange Street. Demolition of the old Salvation Army and Car Quest buildings was initially set to begin in March.
While a delay in approval from the FDIC has placed the project behind schedule, building architect Mike Tuss said the green light should be granted any time now.
“Once we get the demolition permit, Western Excavating will begin the building salvage operation and excavation for the bank building and parking structure,” Tuss said. “That operation will likely continue into November.”
The project calls for a 140-stall parking structure and a six-story bank. Tuss designed the building to meet Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design standards, with energy-saving measures incorporated throughout the structure.
He said the project will go to bid in September and a contract will be awarded in October.
“Building construction will start when Western completes demolition and excavation,” Tuss said. “We still expect construction to take approximately 21 months once the excavation is completed and the general construction begins.”
For the past three weeks, crews with NorthWestern Energy have been working to relocate the overhead utility lines to make way for the bank. CenturyLink is also relocating fiber-optic cables in the area.
“There are overhead lines, and this new building would encroach on those,” said Butch Larcombe, spokesman for NorthWestern. “We’re going to take those down and put them underground. It will be well into September before we’re done.”
The bank is one of several large projects taking place in downtown Missoula. Earlier this year, crews broke ground on a four-story Missoula College building on East Broadway, and St. Patrick Hospital is gearing up to begin work on a four-story medical building at 410 W. Broadway.
A five-story student housing project is also expected to break ground this year on Front Street.
Tuss said the new bank should open around August 2017. Once it does, it will become the 61-year-old company’s 33rd full-service banking location.