New buildings planned for tech company at Old Sawmill District

Two new three-story buildings are slated to be constructed over the next year and a half in the Old Sawmill District near downtown Missoula.

When they’re completed by the end of 2021, they’ll house local tech company Advanced Technology Group, a Cognizant company. The new office space will be within the Tech Campus on the District, which will be eventually able to accommodate more than 400 employees.

“We have building permits for two new commercial buildings,” said Leslie Wetherbee, co-developer of the District with her husband Ed Wetherbee. “They’re going to be beautiful. They’re going to be a showcase for Missoula. We’ll have a sky bridge between them, and one will have a rooftop deck.”

The two will be slightly different sizes and will be a combined 40,000 square feet, according to Old Sawmill District property operations manager Bridget Baxter. Each will have a small retail tenant space on the ground floor, and Baxter said they’re in discussions with possible tenants and might seek out interested parties.

ATG Cognizant is a fast-growing technology consulting company that’s been on a hiring spree over the last few years. They’re currently leasing an existing space at Old Sawmill District and other places around town and are trying to consolidate.

“ATG, they were always in the plan,” Wetherbee said. “We’ve been talking to them about it for a long time, and thought they would be a great tenant to have in that OSD Tech Campus space.”

The new buildings will be directly across Wyoming Street from the current Old Sawmill District’s Cambium Place commercial building. It’s the first time the developers have built something on that side of the Old Sawmill District, an area near that Clark Fork River that was once home to a lumberyard.

Wetherbee said that the new riverfront urban park neighborhood is “revitalized from an abandoned Superfund industrial site.” The new buildings will incorporate green designs.

“Central to this revitalization project is a focus on occupant well-being and minimal impact to the planet,” Wetherbee said. “Plans include the progressive use of carbon capture materials, passive solar, green roof spaces, and recycled building materials. Within the buildings, a focus on abundant natural sunlight, several connections to the outdoors, unique interior air handling, and optimized use of the connected trail system for daily commuting add up to a happy, healthy, and productive work environment.”

She said the architecture of the new development is inspired by the “grand arches of the world’s beautiful train stations and the timeless prominence of university centers of education.”

The Old Sawmill District’s future plans include a hotel, a parking garage, residential properties, and food and beverage options, along with more additions to the Tech Campus.

Baxter said the plan is to break ground on the two new buildings by the end of August.

Article by David Erickson