Here’s some business news in the Missoula area.
A downtown building will soon get a substantial renovation.
Karen and Brian Sippy have purchased the building at 124 N. Higgins Avenue, which is currently occupied by The M Store, but that business’s lease expired at the end of November. The Sippys own the Radius Gallery, which is next door.
Brian Sippy said The M Store is looking at relocating to another spot downtown. He said he and his wife are planning a remodel of the building, which was built in the middle of the last century.
“Our intention is not to be as bold as we were at (the Radius Gallery location) and take everything down to the foundation,” Sippy said. “This has a little bit better bones and so what we hope to do is increase the attractiveness of the façade and kind of get rid of that dark 70s kind of hole and bring more of a storefront forward.”
They’ve been inspired by old 1920s-era images of the façade of the building that used to sit where the Radius Gallery is now, he said. That building was home to the McKay Art Co., which was lost to a fire in the 1930s. It featured a masonry and plate-glass storefront.
“Since that was destroyed in a fire and we didn’t rebuild it, we’re going to take advantage and take that façade essentially next door,” he said.
Sippy asked the Missoula Redevelopment Agency’s board of commissioners to let him proceed with deconstruction before asking for Tax Increment Financing assistance in December or January. The board approved the request in November.
“I’m sure it will be a wonderful project,” said board chair Karl Englund.
The Missoula Food Bank & Community Center’s 36th Annual Holiday Drive runs from Dec. 1-31. Tax-deductible gifts can be made online at missoulafoodbank.org, by mail to 1720 Wyoming Street, Missoula, MT 59801, or in person at the same address.
The organization has a goal of raising $300,000 this December to support its range of direct nutrition programs that helped one-fifth of people in Missoula County in 2021.
“Working-class families are struggling in this housing market,” said operations manager Kelli Hess. “We see a lot of our neighbors who are aging, and also those living with disabilities who are on extremely fixed incomes and are deeply affected by the rising cost of living, including food. We also see many families with young children, where childcare takes up a large portion of their monthly budget.”
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