Wednesday, October 27, 2021
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Q&A session planned for Big Mountain Road project

by CHAD SOKOL
Daily Inter Lake | October 6, 2021 1:00 AM

A team of developers seeking to build hundreds of housing units at the base of Big Mountain Road will host a public meeting to gather feedback and answer questions before the proposal goes to the Whitefish Planning Board.

The meeting is scheduled to run from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 14 at the Firebrand Hotel in downtown Whitefish. Will MacDonald said he and several of the other developers behind the project will be there to field questions, along with the team's architect and civil engineer.

The proposed "Mountain Gateway" development would feature 270 apartments, 24 townhouses and 24 condominiums on about 30.5 acres straddling Big Mountain Road at East Lakeshore Drive. The city would have to annex and rezone the property, and the developers have proposed replacing the tight intersection with a roundabout to keep traffic moving freely during ski season.

The development also would feature an island of commercial space, which might include a small market and a day-care center for working families. About 1.5 acres adjoining the development would be donated to the city for a much-needed new fire station. And 32 of the apartments would have deed restrictions to ensure long-term affordability for workers in the area, with lease rates managed by the Whitefish Housing Authority.

Other developers involved in the project include James Barnett; Craig Denman of Denman Construction; Sean Averill of Averill Hospitality, which owns the Firebrand and The Lodge at Whitefish Lake; and Matthew Fritter of American Residential Investment Management.

The land is owned by Joe Gregory, who also owns the Krummholz Lodge, a gated vacation compound on Whitefish Lake. Gregory sought to build a resort and residential development on the Big Mountain Road property in 2017, but that project never materialized.

The Whitefish Planning Board will consider the current proposal during a meeting starting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 at City Hall. The application, renderings and other documents related to the Mountain Gateway project can be found at cityofwhitefish.org/428/current-land-use-actions.