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Florida developer also considering project east of Flathead River

| August 5, 2022 6:20 AM

A luxury home developer in Florida is also considering a building project east of the Flathead River in Columbia Falls.

Representatives from Location Ventures and Strategies 360, a Montana public relations firm, said they were considering a 100-plus unit multi-family development, but recently pulled its application with the city as they wait to see what the city decides on the River Highlands Development.

Location Ventures didn’t reveal the exact location of its project, but it would presumably be north of Highway 2.

River Highlands is a 455-unit development proposed for farmland on the south side Highway 2 just to the east of River Road.

It goes before the Columbia Falls City-County planning board Tuesday. A previous public hearing on River Highlands was postponed after a large crowd of people, mostly in opposition, flooded city hall in July.

Melissa Shannon of Strategies 360 and Joanna Davila of Location Ventures met briefly with the Hungry Horse News last week to talk about its project.

Strategies 360 is a public relations firm that works with clients across the West.

“More services under one roof to get the win,” is its motto, 360’s website says.

Location Ventures specializes in high-end developments.

“Location Ventures is a unique real estate platform that provides comprehensive investment, development, management, marketing and sales for residential and mixed-use properties. What does that mean? Simply put, we invest in one-of-a-kind living experiences that make the highest and best use of unique development locations. For some projects, that means investing capital, for others that means crafting a one-of-a-kind living experience from ideation to completion.

“Our portfolio contains a mix of ultra-luxury single-family homes, boutique condo developments, and a soon-to-be hip urban co-live and co-work space where young professionals live, work and engage in one environment,” the company says on its website.

It’s the sort of development, if it ever comes to fruition, that Columbia Falls has yet to see.

On the other hand, the city has certainly been “discovered” since the pandemic, as gentrification of the community has happened almost overnight.

Homes that once sold for $250,000 or less now list for double and sometimes triple that today, though the market has cooled a bit as interest rates have gone up.

Still, a modest older home in Columbia Falls typically lists for $500,000 or more.

The planning board meeting for the River Highlands project, which would be all long-term rental units, is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the junior high.

The high density development is the largest subdivision proposed in Columbia Falls in years. The developers plan on extending city sewer and water lines under the Flathead River to serve the development, if approved.

All told, about 1,200 people could ultimately live there.

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