MISSOULA -- What was once unused and unsightly land is now home to businesses like Dog and Bicycle and Brio Fitness in Missoula's Old Sawmill District.
Growth in this area is continuing with the introduction of an innovation technology center, called OSD Tech Campus. Construction on the two new buildings will begin in August, located on the north end of the Old Sawmill District, directly across from the Cambium Place Apartments on Wyoming Street.
Old Sawmill District Project Developer, Leslie Wetherbee said it will be in an area that hasn't been developed yet.
"We're excited about starting on the northside of Wyoming street. All of the development we've done so far has been on the South side of Wyoming and so this is like taking a big leap across the street," Wetherbee said.
ATG Cognizant, an advanced technology group, leased over 40,000 square feet of additional office space within the buildings. The office space will accommodate over 400 employees at a time.
Co-Project Developer, Ed Wetherbee said he hopes the new space will help create more employment opportunities for young people and expand Missoula's commercial and economic growth.
"We want to be able to encourage that and create a blank slate in many ways, so these companies have a place to grow and we can encourage it and support it and I hope we as a community do a lot of that," he said.
However, he said without the help from his staff and the community, these plans won't be accomplished.
"These things are very complicated, very time intensive, and it takes a lot of people to pull in the right direction and make these [project developments] work," Wetherbee said.
He added they plan to use carbon capture materials, passive solar, green roof spaces and recycled building materials to ensure the development has minimal impact on the planet.