The former motel known as the "Sleepy Inn" will finally disappear from Missoula's landscape as soon as this coming week, as the City of Missoula tears down the buildings once used as emergency shelters during the pandemic.

The city had acquired the former motel in the 1400 block of West Broadway in the early days of the pandemic, with the idea that the space would be needed for emergency shelter for the homeless that might need to be isolated because of COVID-19. The city spent $1.1 million on the property in 2020 and had provided shelter to as many as 395 people before it was closed.

In December, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency approved the plan to go ahead and "deconstruct" the motel so the land can be used as the West Broadway corridor is redeveloped in the coming years.

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Now, the city agencies have signed a contract with 3 River Landmarks, LLC to being the removal. That will start with a cleanup of hazardous materials, such as asbestos and then the building's deconstruction and removal. Subcontractors include Abatement Contractors and Heritage Timber.

Heritage estimates as much as 60% of the building materials can be salvaged and recycled, keeping it out of the city's landfill.

City officials say the contractors are expected to start work this coming week, and they have 60 days to finish the deconstruction. Missoula firefighters will be using the building for some training before it is gone.

Long range plans

Under the Envision West Broadway Plan, the Sleepy Inn site will be redeveloped. The city says the realtor working on the project says it will be easier to sell the property to a new developer if the site is cleared.

Funds from the sale of the property will be placed into Missoula's Affordable Housing Fund.

MORE INFORMATION: Missoula's Sleepy Inn webpage

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