Missoula park board moves toward redeveloping Front Street homes

Bret Anne Serbin

Passersby milled around outside 401 East Front Street Wednesday afternoon, browsing the “free store” kiosk in front of the house and riding bikes through nearby Kiwanis Park. The house’s yard featured a toilet in the front and a couch in the rear, and red-and-green cookie cutters implanted in the dirt suggesting there is a family that calls the structure “home.”

The house, as well as its next-door neighbor, were the focus of a Missoula Parks and Recreation Board meeting on Tuesday. The board unanimously approved a request for an easement through Kiwanis Park that paves the way to replacing the two buildings with an apartment complex.

Building owners Caroline McCauley and Matt Sullivan seek to develop the two modest Front Street homes into a 20-unit apartment building. They are proposing three floors of apartments on one side of the property and four stories on the other. 

“These two places are a real blight to the community in my opinion and my wife’s (Caroline McCauley) opinion,” said developer Matt Sullivan. “We think that the development will really be a fantastic improvement to the park and to the quality of the park.”

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