Five years after a sweeping, and controversial move to transform one of the most famous blocks in downtown Missoula, a group of Bozeman developers is selling off two brand-new hotels. And it's expected that could open the door for them to work on other future projects in the Garden City.

Developer Andy Holloran and his group, Homebase Partners, made major headlines in 2018 when the group purchased the historic Missoula Mercantile and made plans to replace the iconic building with a new hotel.

The proposal led to months of controversy and lawsuits, with historical groups arguing "The Merc" should be saved, and Holloran getting support from former Mayor John Engen and other city officials, who recognized the iconic building was beyond saving.

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The high-profile project pushed forward, with the construction of the Residence Inn by Marriott, which opened in February 2019. That was followed by a second project, the AC Hotel by Marriott at the corner of Main and Pattee. All told, the two hotels contain 280-high quality rooms and some 20-thousand square feet of retail and restaurant space, including public areas that paid tribute to The Marc.

Dennis Bragg photo
Dennis Bragg photo

Now, Denver-based Evermore Partners, and Ridgefield, Connecticut-based New Castle Hotels & Resorts have announced a deal to purchase both properties from Homebase.

“This opportunity represents a pivotal point in Evermore’s history, as we expand into Montana, and underline our commitment to investing in key urban, college, and core mountain communities in the Rocky Mountain Region. With a ‘main and main’ location, the strength of Marriott branding, and a dynamic design, we believe these hotels and The Mercantile retail are truly irreplaceable assets." -Evermore CEO Seth Wolkov

The AC Hotel opened 2-years after the Residence Inn; Dennis Bragg photo
The AC Hotel opened 2-years after the Residence Inn; Dennis Bragg photo

New Castle, which was founded over 40 years ago, is a privately held hotel investment and management company with over 29 properties and more than 4,000 rooms across North America.

"These hotels perfectly complement our portfolio of premium branded, select-service properties, offering elevated design and service in a premier location of a dynamic and growing market. We look forward to building on the property teams' success through our hands-on owner-operator approach and strengthening ties to the local Missoula community." -New Castle Partner Julian Buffam

Homebase, which continues to own and operate hotel properties in Bozeman, may not be done with the Garden City either.

Holloran told the Missoulian that Missoula had been a "great partner" and Homebase was looking "forward to our next chapter in Missoula."

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