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Additions to South Crossing shopping center help Missoula's economy

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:47:00 AM MST
Updated On: Oct 10 2013 05:42:17 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The city of Missoula has approved a permit for another national retailer in the new South Crossing area.

Boot Barn will join Cabela’s and possibly Kohl’s at the development on Brooks and Reserve Streets. The city’s Development Services office says in addition a ‘future permit’ has been filed for a Petco, though nothing has officially been submitted or approved.

The almost-$25 million project is expected to be close to complete by summer 2014.

Construction on the site has been going on since summer 2013 when the old Kmart building was torn down.

The development in the area is a definite sign of economic growth. Paul Polzin at the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) said the development will benefit the city’s economy.

“This is an addition to Missoula's economic base to the extent that it makes Missoula a more attractive place for people to come, shop, see a doctor or dentist and do other business,” Polzin said.

The continued growth in that area is welcome news after three straight years of decline from 2007 to 2010 and little growth in 2011, according to the economic outlook from the BBER.

Part of that decline comes from the closure of Stimson Lumber Co. in Bonner and Smurfit Stone in Frenchtown -- a loss of about 1,000 jobs in Missoula County between 2004 and 2011.

“We are still adjusting to some permanent closures in our basic industries,” Polzin said. “Those are big, big economic blows.”

Polzin says South Crossing will continue to help Missoula recover.

Click here to read the BBER’s 2013 outlook.