Stockman Bank unveiled the preliminary drawings for its new flagship financial center planned for the corner of West Broadway and Orange Street in downtown Missoula this week, and it plans to begin construction this summer.

Mike Tuss of CTA Architects said the building will stand six stories tall and offer roughly 55,000 square feet of office space. It also will include three levels of attached parking, including one level below grade.

“We’re planning on six stories, with the sixth floor dedicated to the community with what we’re calling a community floor or a community room,” said Tuss. “It will have some fantastic 360-degree views of Missoula.”

Stockman Bank made its intentions public last year when it purchased the lot and announced plans to build a flagship branch in Missoula. The design must win city approval.

Bob Burns, marketing president for Stockman, said the facility represents the bank’s 34th branch in Montana. The bank is family owned and is eager to expand in the growing Missoula market.

“It’s a natural fit for Stockman to come further west,” Burns said. “We already have a lot of existing clients in the Missoula market. I think this is a great improvement to that part of downtown.”

The lot is currently occupied by a defunct Carquest building and the former Salvation Army building. The bank and its attached 140-stall parking garage will run the length of the lot between Orange and Woody streets.

Tuss said the project has gone through several changes over the past few months. As designed, the structure is expected to win the coveted status as a “green building,” with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

“We do intend to get LEED certification,” Tuss said. “I can tell you the project we did in downtown Billings was Gold certified. My intent would be a high-level award. I would hope we’d get LEED Gold or Platinum – the highest level.”

Tuss said the center’s environmental design includes a rooftop deck and garden on the fifth floor. The sixth story includes the community room.

The design also includes high-performance glass and efficient lighting. The project calls for low-flow facilities and other water-conservation measures. Energy-efficient elevators are planned, Tuss said, and a portion of the electricity will be generated on site.

“Stockman is interested in providing part of their electricity generated on site with photovoltaic panels,” Tuss said. “They’re motivated to be environmentally conscious and responsible.”

Burns said the property’s high visibility played a role in choosing the location. Officials with the city’s Development Services have said the area will undergo changes in the coming years, starting with the bank project this summer.

Among the looming additions, St. Patrick Hospital is planning to demolish the old Safeway store this year and build a new four-story medical office building on the property, city officials have said.

Across from the Stockman Bank, developers with the Farran Group are also eyeing the Riverfront Triangle for a new multistory hotel and conference center, along with retail and housing.

Both the Farran Group and St. Patrick Hospital have yet to reveal their plans, but the city has said 2015 will be a banner year for Missoula construction and job growth.

“With significant new development anticipated downtown, at the (Riverfront Triangle) site, St. Pat’s Hospital, East Broadway, the Old Sawmill District, North Reserve Street, Southgate Mall and South Crossing, we expect robust development activity in 2015,” Mike Haynes, director of Development Services, said in a Friday report.

Tuss said deconstruction of the old Salvation Army and Carquest buildings will likely begin in April. He expects construction of the new bank to begin in late August or early September and take roughly 20 months to complete.

Burns added that the bank is planning a grand opening in the summer of 2017.

“We currently have six employees in Missoula right now, but I think the plan is to have upward of 60 employees in the Missoula market in the coming years,” Burns said. “This is going to be our flagship for western Montana.”

The bank represents the first major downtown building project in nearly five years. The last structure built was the Garlington Building, also located on Broadway. The six-story, 52,000-square-foot project took 17 months to complete and opened in 2011.

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