Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - After a tumultuous history since being purchased by the City of Missoula at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the former Sleepy Inn Motel will finally come down with deconstruction planned to begin on Monday, February 27.

KGVO News spoke to Annie Gorski, Missoula Redevelopment Agency Director on Wednesday for details on the long awaited transformation of the seedy motel into a part of the ‘gateway to the city’.

The Sleepy Inn will Finally Rest in Peace

“So we've entered into a contract,” began Gorski. “The city council and our MRA board approved entering into a contract with Three Rivers Land Works, and then they've hired a contractor to handle the asbestos abatement in the building as well as another contractor Heritage Timber to handle the deconstruction of the building. So the goal here consistent with MRA policy is to try to salvage as much of the building materials as we can and divert those from the landfill. So they estimate about 60 percent of the building will be deconstructed.”

Extensive Precautions Taken to Remove Asbestos

Due to the presence of asbestos on the old property, special precautions are being taken to keep the area free of any contamination.

“Work will begin with the asbestos abatement and next Monday is when they expect to begin, and then they will be doing that in phases,” she said. “So starting with one end of the building and as it's a U shaped building going from one end of the ‘U’ to the other, and then starting March 9, the deconstruction component will start and then the what's left of the building after they've handled the salvage piece will then be demolished.”

Gorski said even further precautions are being taken to ensure the site is successfully reclaimed.

“We did a phase two, as well as a hazardous building materials survey, which included going room by room to take samples of both paint, testing for lead based paint as well as asbestos,” she said. “Then they also did some research in terms of prior use in terms of trying to understand whether there may be any subsurface contamination.”

Many Businesses and Developers are Interested in the Strategic Downtown Location

After all the deconstruction has been completed, Gorski said the one and a half acre site will be put up for sale for the best possible use.

“We have direction to enter into an agreement with a listing broker to sell the property,” she said. “Given the wealth of public outreach that was done with the Envision West Broadway Master Plan and the focus on this portion of West Broadway as sort of a gateway to the city, we're really communicating to that broker that we want to see development proposals that are consistent with the West Broadway master plan.”

The following dates are targets and may change due to weather or other interruptions that could modify this schedule:
•     Monday, February 27: ACM will begin Asbestos abatement in the building.
•     Thursday, March 9: Heritage Timber will begin deconstruction of the building.
•     Tuesday, April 4: Three Rivers Landworks will begin removing the building after deconstruction and salvage of materials are completed.
•     Wednesday, April 12: Target date for substantial completion of the project.
•     After April 12: Three Rivers Landworks will demobilize and clean up site, and remove any remaining equipment.

Funds from the sale of the property at 1427 West Broadway will go into the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

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