Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) Cost estimates for a housing development on city-owned land off Scott Street should soon be clear enough to determine price points and financing, the city said.

Ravara Development LLC is partnering with the city to develop the project, which is expected to include 70 income-qualified condominiums and townhomes, along with several hundred market-rate apartments.

Ellen Buchanan, director of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, said pricing is expected soon.

“Ravara expects to have architectural plans for the income-qualified condominiums that are far enough along to get reliable pricing in mid-June,” Buchanan said. “At that point, we'll be able to work through how to finance this project in a way that meets the city’s expectations and goals.”

The project has been several years in the making but is slowly moving forward, the city has assured. In February, the City Council granted Ravara a zoning change to increase building heights to 65 feet to provide 224 dwelling units.

As detailed in recent months, three of the 9 acres sold to Ravara will provide 70 deed-restricted housing units on a community land trust. The remaining six acres will include the market rate housing along with a plaza and a range of commercial amenities including a food court, a potential gym and a neighborhood grocery.

MRA is expected to seek clearance from the city to issue an estimated $4 million bond to lay the infrastructure needed to support the development. In January, MRA said that work would begin in February, though that hasn't happened.

“Work on the infrastructure has been delayed while we're working through financing for the entire project, both the market rate and income-qualified components,” said Buchanan.

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