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Developer speaks out

| February 8, 2023 9:00 AM

Housing and development are hot topics. A rising population without an adequate increase in housing to serve the existing community have brought significant challenges to the Flathead Valley. We know from the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research that while Flathead County’s population grew by almost 15 percent in the most recent decade, its housing increased by just 6.2 percent.

The result of this lack of development is a severe strain on existing housing - and higher prices for prospective homeowners. The solution to this problem is achieving a balance with more housing. Luckily, we can achieve that goal without changing the region’s character. My firm, Location Ventures, is proposing 180 units of single-family attached homes and apartments less than a mile from Nucleus Avenue in Columbia Falls.

As a developer, I fully understand the concerns when the community hears about a new housing proposal. Too often the public only learns about a project after major decisions have been made, leaving many questions. Our approach is different. We value community input, as evidenced by the dozens of meetings our team has had with individuals, business owners, and civic leaders in Columbia Falls and

Flathead County. We’ve designed the values and priorities we heard from the community directly into our proposal, whether it is a public access connection to the Bad Rock Canyon Wildlife Management Area, inclusion of a wildlife corridor, or keeping 55 percent of the total acreage of the property as open space.

We are not proposing a cookie cutter development, rather buildings that possess an attractive exterior and complement the natural environment. I look forward to continued conversation with the entire community about this investment in Columbia Falls’ future. Together, we can ensure more accessible housing is available for people who call the Flathead home.

Rishi Kapoor, Founder and CEO Location Ventures Boca Raton, Florida