GREAT FALLS — When you drive around Great Falls, you’ll likely see several construction sites for new businesses.
Tom Micuda, the deputy director of the city Planning & Community Development department, says the city is seeing an increase in construction and business partly because Great Falls is growing, and that it is more affordable compared to other Montana cities.
“A big factor of it is lower interest rates on construction, and we’re also above 60,000 people which we haven’t been for many years. The commercial side of it looks positive and we expect continued momentum going forward,” Micuda said.
Great Falls Mayor Bob Kelly says more people are starting to see Great Falls as an opportunity and that word is getting out about opportunities here: “I think Great Falls is coming into its own. All this construction is an indication that a lot of people see a lot of opportunity here. It really is people risking their capital because they see opportunity and for a while we may not have seen that.”
Among the businesses/organizations slated to open in the coming months:
- Jersey Mike’s Subs – 413 3rd Street NW
- Five Guys – 2104 10th Avenue South
- Carlson's Q BBQ - 1720 10th Avenue South
- City Brew – 1225 10th Avenue South
- Independence Bank – 901 River Drive North
- Mountain Wave Distilling – 313 Central Avenue
- The Newberry – 420 Central Avenue
- The Wild Hare – 518 Central Avenue
- Town Pump Car Wash – 2500 10th Avenue South (now open)
- Great Falls North Apartments – 1800 Division Road (216 units)
- Montana Apothecary (pharmacy) – 1921 11th Avenue South
- Benefis Women’s & Children’s Center – 2720 10th Avenue South
- Love’s Travel Plaza – 3219 Airport Drive
- Starbuck’s – 1205 3rd Street NW
Great Falls unemployment peaked in April of last year at nearly 13% - largely due to the pandemic - and that number is now down to about 4%. City officials expect that number to stay steady, or even go down a bit in the coming months.
“I think the story is out that Great Falls is a great place to get your business in,” Kelly said.
Great Falls is growing, and the opening dates for some of the businesses aren’t set in stone, but Kelly expects new business to continue to find their way to town as more people start to realize what might await them in the Electric City.