The Ownership Partnership and Construction Loan for Crowley Flats in Lewistown, Montana, has closed, and we can finally begin the construction involved in this historic adaptive re-use project.

Located on the on the upper two floors of the Crowley Block in historic downtown Lewistown, Crowley Flats will provide 16 rental homes to households earning 60% or less of the area median income. In 2022, for Lewistown residents, that means a household of one person working full-time could earn about $16 per hour or less to qualify for the homes. That’s a gross annual income of $33,360.

If the homes were leasing today, rents would range from $491 to $970, not including electric utilities, depending on the size of the apartment and the income target assigned to the apartment. There is no rental assistance, but residents with Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers will be welcome. Both rents and income change annually and could be more or less by the time the homes are being leased.

Construction is expected to take 10 to 12 months, and leasing activities are expected to begin in early 2023.

The apartment homes are on the small side, ranging from 498 square  feet for studios to 935 two-bedroom homes, but are suitable for downtown living. There is a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with high ceilings and lots of natural light. With large windows on the exterior walls and interior windows sharing light from the skylights in the atrium, the apartments will feel bright and spacious. Original natural wood trim and wood floors will add coziness and a unique quality to each home.

The apartment community will benefit from large interior common areas lit by the historic skylights and light wells on the third floor, an on-site manager’s office and on-site laundry rooms.

Served on all floors by an elevator, the building will be easily and conveniently accessible to all residents and their guests. The building will have a secured access system requiring key fobs or access cards for entry. Surface parking will be provided across the alley, but the central location is convenient, with easy access to community amenities like parks, grocery shopping, hardware store, retail shopping, a health clinic and schools. Residents may find they don’t need cars to meet their needs. The location will be perfect for seniors, veterans, singles, small families or anyone who craves the excitement and activity that downtown living provides.

On the lower floors, residents will be able to access the services of One Health’s new Lewistown health clinic, expected to open in late June 2022. One Health has collaborated with Homeword, recognizing the critical link between healthcare and safe, healthy homes that people can afford.

The project is being funded by Red Stone Equity Partners’ equity from the sale of Housing Tax Credits awarded by Montana Housing and the sale of Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits, a HOME Investments Partnerships Program grant from the Community Housing group at the Montana Department of Commerce, an Affordable Housing Program grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Tax Implement Financing (TIF) fund form the City of Lewistown and a Steele-Reese Foundation grant. Glacier Bank is providing the construction financing. High Plains Architects provided architectural and engineering services to design the project and prepare bid documents, and Jackson Contractor Group is the selected General Contractor building the project.

We encourage people who are interested in one of these homes to send an email to the Homeword Development Team at devinfo@homeword.org. Come “Find Your Center” at Crowley Flats in Lewistown, Montana.

Julie Stiteler for Homeword’s Development Team