An unexpected solution to maintaining affordable housing in Missoula emerged from a city committee meeting Wednesday.
The city originally purchased the Bridge Apartments on West Broadway for $2.1 million in 2021 in the hopes of finding a private partner to preserve the 20 affordable rental units in the building.
The costs associated with the ‘90s-era facility, however, prevented any potential buyers from coming forward to purchase the property.
“The unpredictability of the costs of managing the deferred maintenance paired with the capped revenues that are necessary to protect this project as affordable housing created too large of a hurdle for many affordable housing developers to navigate,” explained Eran Pehan, director of Community Planning, Development and Innovation for the city.
Instead of selling the property to a developer, the city opted to pursue a property management agreement and development agreement with BlueLine Property Management LLC. BlueLine is currently building The Villagio and Trinity Apartments projects in Missoula, in addition to managing three affordable rental homes in the area.
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Under the agreements, the city will continue to own the Bridge Apartments for the next five years while