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Proposed hotel, transportation plan up for discussion

by BRET ANNE SERBIN
Daily Inter Lake | July 26, 2021 12:00 AM

A pair of items on the Kalispell City Council agenda for its Monday work session have the potential to transform the city over the next several years.

The first of the two major discussion topics is a proposed project to redevelop a city-owned parking lot at the corner of Third Street West and Main Street.

The city is currently reviewing a multi-pronged proposal to turn the surface parking lot into a five-story hotel.

Along with the hotel, there is also the potential to put in a three-level parking structure in the the city-owned Eagles parking lot located at the corner of First Avenue and First Street West.

The developers — a conglomerate called Montana Hotel Dev Partners — are also considering the renovation of a nearby building to house support offices for the project.

Bill Goldberg of Compass Construction, who recently took over the Kalispell Mercantile building, is leading the charge for the massive $47 million redevelopment effort.

Goldberg teamed up with BOND Partners, a San Diego property management company, and Alchemy Development, whose CEO and owner Joe Costa also owns First Avenue Taphouse and Casino in Kalispell.

The proposed Charles Hotel would encompass 86,000 square feet and 79 rooms, coming in just under the city's height limit of 60 feet.

The proposal came about after the city first sought redevelopment proposals for the Third and Main parking lot in December 2020.

Only Montana Hotel Dev Partners submitted a proposal by the July 9 deadline.

If the proposal gets the green light from the city council, the developers would be required to complete the project within two years of signing a developer's agreement with the city.

But plenty of questions need to be addressed before that can happen.

Funding poses perhaps the biggest question for The Charles Hotel and its associated pieces.

Based on the request for proposal parameters, Montana Hotel Dev Partners would not be required to pay any upfront land cost to acquire the parking lot. Instead, that expense would essentially be repaid over time through the taxes generated by the hotel.

In addition, the developers have asked the city to consider “offsetting impact fees for the hotel development by utilizing Tax Increment Financing District funds,” according to the proposal.

After Monday's work session, a five-person selection committee will meet to discuss the proposal. The committee is expected to deliver a recommendation to the City Council in September.

THE SECOND topic of conversation for the work session, at which no formal decisions may be made, is Move 2040, the Kalispell Area Transportation Plan.

The plan outlines approximately 90 changes that could be made in the city limits to make sure Kalispell's transportation infrastructure holds up until 2040.

Created by KLJ Engineering, Move 2040 is the first look at revamping the local transportation system since the late 2000s.

The plan proposes changes such as adding a turn land along Four Mile Drive and Rose Crossing, and extending Whitefish Stage Road south to the intersection of East Center Street and Woodland Avenue. There's also the possibility of installing roundabouts at the intersection of Woodland Avenue and Second Street East, as well as the intersection of Seventh Street West and South Meridian Road.

The transportation plan could be up for a council vote in September.

The work session is open to the public. It starts at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 201 First Ave. E.

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 406-758-4459 or bserbin@dailyinterlake.com.