The Sleepy Inn Motel, purchased by the city in 2020 to help provide non-congregate shelter for homeless persons suffering from COVID-19, is now vacant and awaiting redevelopment.

The Missoula City Council held a meeting on Wednesday to hear options on the future of the Sleepy Inn. Annette Marchesseault, Project Manager and Redevelopment Specialist at Missoula Redevelopment Agency, addressed the city council and provided an update on the controversial site.

“The redevelopment strategy is to engage a realtor,” began Marchesseault. “The city is working with a realtor to solicit development proposals, and we're using the master plan as a guiding document. Those development proposals will be required to go include what they propose as a public engagement process to continue to engage the neighborhood.”

Marchesseault took the committee through the process step by step.

“Once a preferred development proposal has been identified, then we would bring it back to city council and work with the city council to establish the reasonable procedure for sale of the property and approve the purchase and sale agreement for the property,” she said.

“If TIF assistance is requested by the developer, MRA (Missoula Redevelopment Agency) would consider that request and then also want to make you aware that all of the proceeds of the sale would go to the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.”

Marchesseault said one aspect of the Sleepy Inn property is the fact that now being vacant, there have been break-ins recently.

“Not surprisingly, now that the building is vacant there it has been broken into a few times,” she said. “We expect that there could be a request to remove the building sooner than later. It may be being broken into and a lot of nefarious activities could become a liability rather than an asset with regard to sale. So, we expect that MRA may consider removing the building sooner than later.”

She said the hope is that there will be a redevelopment plan by early 2023.

“We hope to have a successful development proposal by the end of this year or early into next year,” she said. “And that's what we would bring back to the council. And then next spring if there is TIF (Tax Increment Financing) assistance is requested, then MRA would consider that as well.”

The initial cost of the Sleepy Inn Motel was $1.1 million.

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