NMCDC is proud to bring Lee Gordon Place’s (LGP) 7 townhomes to Missoula’s fast-changing downtown. The homes, located at 501 & 505 E Front Street, are across the street from the new library site, adjacent to Kiwanis Park and two blocks from the Missoula Children’s Theater.
History and Process
In the spring of 2015 the 503 East Front Street property was gifted to the NMCDC by the heirs of Lee Gordon and the name of the future residential development, Lee Gordon Place, memorialized the family’s generous contribution. The development of Lee Gordon Place, through the the Land Stewardship Program, provides a model of non-gentrifying neighborhood improvement – one that if replicated, could become the place-based inoculation needed to keep this centrally located area income-inclusive for Missoula’s full range of citizenry. Lee Gordon Place, comprised of seven permanently affordable townhouses, will be move in ready in early 2019.
The site is a 14,000 square foot formerly was occupied by a 9 unit residential structure. A large portion of the existing structure was constructed in 1882 by the Heyfron family, and subsequent additions, divisions and remodels have resulted in a wide range of building materials and construction styles within the structure. In December of 2015, the U.S. Department of Environmental Quality conducted a Phase II Assessment of the property identifying asbestos, lead paint and one mercury thermostat as materials of concern within the structure as well as lead soil contamination around the perimeter of the building. The asbestos and lead has to be mitigated prior to the deconstruction of the building and redevelopment of the site. The NMCDC was granted funding for abatement work through the EPA’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Program by the Missoula City Council on June 13th, 2016.
4/18/2017 – Lee Gordon Place Update
A temporary fence was added to the perimeter of the property as lead and abatement of the current structure has begun in preparation for deconstruction and historical documentation. The three large trees on site were removed to prevent the nesting of migratory bird species and allow for access to the existing structure and redevelopment of the entire site.
8/14/2017 – Lee Gordon Place Update
Mitigation of lead paint and asbestos within the structure is complete. This was funded through the City of Missoula Brownfields RLF Funding.
Heritage Timber deconstructed the building and salvaged as many materials of possible. The entire process was documented by an archaeologist and a public presentation will be compiled at a date yet to be determined. The Missoula Redevelopment Agency provided funding for the deconstruction. Historical documentation was funded by, in part, First Interstate Bank.
10/23/2017 – Lee Gordon Place Update
While the EPA Phase II of the 503 East Front Street site identified the presence of lead surrounding the structure, it was assumed that the source was from years of flaking lead paint. However, once the structure was removed and soil was retested, the soil present on almost the entire Lee Gordon Place site was identified as containing abnormally high levels of lead. The source is unknown as the history of the site has been agricultural and residential. The high levels of lead triggered the required removal of the top two feet of soil from almost the entire site. The cleanup was overseen by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and made possible by the Orphan Share Fund with coordination and support of Republic Services. The soil removal was completed in late October and the site was cleared for development.
1/19/2018 – Lee Gordon Place Update
After opening bids for the services of a General Contractor on the 28th of November of 2017 the NMCDC signed a contract with Pew Corporation and and closed on a construction loan with First Interstate and Stockman’s Banks.
1/31/2018 – Lee Gordon Place Pre-Construction Meeting
Design and Construction of Lee Gordon Place is funded through a combination of federal funding sources. The City of Missoula is an entitlement city for Community Development Block Grant Program and HOME funds and both funding sources, awarded in August of 2016, supported the development of Lee Gordon Place. Additional funding was allocated to this project in 2016 from the State of Montana, Department of Commerce HOME program. These grant funds combined with NMCDC’s out of pocket contribution, together with the construction loan provided the funding needed to bring seven homes onto the Missoula Real Estate market at below market rate values for income eligible buyers..
1/31/2019 – 3/31/2019
Lee Gordon Place was constructed over a 14-month construction period. There will be a ribbon cutting for Lee Gordon Place on May 10, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. Please join us all to celebrate this hard-won addition of permanently affordable homes in Missoula’s rapidly changing downtown.
View our other Land Stewardship Programs: