KALISPELL — They're an iconic feature in downtown Kalispell, but what was once used to store bulk materials is now going to become something quite different.
The old grain silos along West Center Street and Fifth Street Northwest are about to become a residential and tourist hot spot.
Ruis Construction plans to create more than 100 housing units with a restaurant and bar on the silos, as well as condominiums along the sides.
“We thought that would be that attraction that people from all around the United States literally would be able to say they went up and had dinner or lunch up on the top of 100 foot silos,” said Mick Ruis the owner of Ruis Construction.
The new living space will also be right on the new Parkline Trail, which Ruis stated is another bonus. “They can step out of your house and walk him down to the other side of town and will not have to worry about you and your kids getting run over,” said Ruis.
Ruis is most excited about saving a piece of Montana history and developing for the future. “It's just to be able to save those structures, give people walking distance to downtown the Main Street, plus all the everything else that you got there going on in the valley,” said Ruis.
The project is going to bring nearly 200 units of housing to an area of Kalispell that needs it. “It'll be nice to see some of that transformed and then bring a lot of really needed housing downtown,” said Montana West Economic Development spokesperson Christy Dawson.
Dawson said this project is a partnership to make a new space for residents and tourists.
“It's really a great example of a partnership. both public and private and how many hands come together to make something like this work it's not something one person can do it's not necessarily easy it's not necessarily quick but I think the payoff is going to be huge,” said Dawson.
The development will bring a new look to the more industrial part of town. Dawson says it will be more than just a place to grab a cold one and a bite to eat, but make the site more appealing.
"We are hoping that Mick’s and other developments are going to bring, you know, not only the housing we need, but make it walkable for people," explained Christy Dawson. "Get them downtown to experience the shops and the restaurants that are started to come out. And there's going to be a lot of office space in some of the new developments as well, so people will be able to live and work. And, you know, go out and enjoy downtown."
Ruis Construction hopes to begin construction after finalizing the purchase at the end of this week.