New Sporadic Missoula Gentrification Report

by William Skink

Today is the first random edition of Missoula’s sporadic and definitely incomplete Gentrification Report.

Thanks to reporting from the Missoulian I can retell the tale of an old white guy by the name of Jeff. He has lived in one of those historic eye sores along 4th street for 20 years. Luckily people like Jeff will be cleared away so tech bros from California (or sourced locally) can have the opportunity to buy a condo or 3. From the link:

Jeff Gardner moved into his one-bedroom apartment 20 years ago. He can remember looking across the river from his front porch on South Fourth Street East, a view that then featured more of the Rattlesnake Mountains, and less of the glassy high rises now prominent on the downtown skyline.

“This was kind of a backwater spot,” Gardner, 61, recalled. “There were hobo camps down in the ditch by the river, the old railroad. It was kind of a scary place and people didn’t want to come down this way, but that made it affordable.”

Scary affordable locations to house the Jeffs and Bobs of Missoula are thankfully disappearing. But don’t worry! There will totally be an “element” of affordable housing with this new condo project:

While the project is privately funded, the city will also require the developer to include an element of affordable housing. That could either include housing vouchers or reserving at least 10% percent of the units as affordable housing.

Montana James with the city’s Office of Housing and Community Development said that would represent a gain in affordable housing, as the homes currently on the property lease for market rate.

“What we’d be gaining is either four affordable home ownership options in this neighborhood right now that don’t currently exist, or units that are available to voucher holders in a neighborhood that has just two vouchers placed in it,” said James.

Beautiful. Local developers are getting with the program. Use the fig leaf of a few housing units that “could” be affordable to push density into the U district so those stubborn NIMBYs can share in the pain of growth and progress like the rest of Missoula.

In other gentrification news, our benevolent Sultan of Sound, Lord Checota, talked about his Drift project while wearing a hip grey Primus hoodie and grey beanie. He talked about the venue, and the tower, and the condos because really what is Missoula but a roving investigation of where to build the next set of condos?

KECI’s Laurel Staples was pretty excited to be in the presence of the many-titled Lord Nick. You can view her gushing here.

That’s it for the Gentrification Report. Check back here for more news as it develops!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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3 Responses to New Sporadic Missoula Gentrification Report

  1. Syd says:

    Jeff’s rent has gone from $395 in 1999 to $600 over twenty years. That’s literally the opposite of gentrification.

  2. I should note the tone of this post is sarcastic, I obviously don’t think it’s a good thing to displace people like Jeff.

    I wanted to share what I just read on Twitter from former Missoula resident, Nate Hegyi, about Jeff:

    And here’s another thing. Jeff is a Missoula character in a town built on the backs of characters like him. He’s what makes that town memorable and wonderful. He swims up and down the Clark Fork every day in the summer, wearing a life jacket. I loved that.

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