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Great Falls Growth Highlights

Great Falls Growth Highlights

3/8/2016

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Total Wages in Great Falls metro area grew 9.5% in the last 2 years, adding $124 million/year in wage earnings. Average weekly wages increased 8.0% in 2014/2015. Per capita income was up 4.2% in 2014, ranking 79th of all 381 U.S. metro areas. Manufacturing employment grew at a 6.2% annual average 2010Q4-2015Q4. Moody's projects gross metro product will grow 3.7% in 2016. Personal income increased 4.7% in 2015 and will grow 4.6% in 2016, 5.8% in 2017 and 5.9% in 2018, according to Moody's. Great Falls named one of the Best 100 Small Cities in America by Nerd Wallet.

                                                        

Construction underway on first two companies in Great Falls AgriTech Park. Four companies have purchased 110 acres in the new rail-served, shovel-ready, heavy industrial park. Helena Chemical, an agricultural chemical distributor, is building an agricultural supply distribution facility on 23 acres. Ruedebusch Construction & Development is building a 58,000 SF distribution center for a Fortune 100 client. Pacific Steel & Recycling has purchased 57 acres to relocate and expand its Great Falls recycling and steel operations. Montana Specialty Millshasbought 20 acres for construction of an oil seed food-grade manufacturing plant. The Park has been selected to be one of the first BNSF-Certified rail industrial parks in the nation.

 

ADF Group continues growth at state-of-the-art fabrication plant in Great Falls as they exceed 210 jobs. ADF Group, an international leader in structural steel design, engineering, fabrication and construction, chose Great Falls as the site for its western United States headquarters expansion.  The company is located on a 100-acre site in Great Falls and has invested $40+ million in a 100,000 SF fabrication facility and 42,000 SF paint and coating plant. The company expects to grow to 340 employees in the next couple of years.

 

Loenbro opened its new advanced fabrication plant and headquarters in 2015 on 52 acres.

A homegrown Great Falls-based welding company that provides a wide range of comprehensive oil and gas pipeline solutions, Loenbro has added over 400 new primary sector jobs in the last 2 years topping 830 total employees. The new complex includes a 28,000 SF headquarters and 30,000 SF state-of-the-art fabrication shop.

 

Health Care Service Corporation chose Great Falls and is operating 120+ person claim processing center. The largest customer-owned health insurance company in the United States, Health Care Service Corporation selected Great Falls to expand its claims processing operations with the purchase of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana.  The center has hired over 120 people and continues to grow.

 

B/E Aerospace tops 160 Great Falls employees and announces plans to add 40 more. Its Great Falls business unit produces wiring harnesses for a wide range of commercial aircraft. CHS nutrition unit expansion underway.

 

Calumet Montana Refining completing construction on $405 million expansion, adding 40+ new high wage primary sector jobs. The refinery produces gasoline, middle distillates and asphalt that it markets primarily into local markets in Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alberta.

 

TJ Maxx, Sears Hometown, Mattress Firm, KFC/A&W, and Sleep Number open. Super 1 and McDonalds start construction. Walmart Supercenter construction bid awarded. Town Pump announces entire block redevelopment on 10th Avenue South. The new East End Retail Center 26-acre project on the east end of 10th Avenue South will be anchored by a 189,000 SF Walmart Supercenter and includes a gasoline station and four 1-2 acre pads. The Town Pump project marks a second major investment on 10th Avenue South. The new McDonalds will add 40 jobs. Popeyes just announced it open a restaurant in Great Falls this summer.

 

Hotel Arvon opens downtown, Erck Hotels to build Hilton Home 2 hotel, Town Pump announces new hotel. Great Falls' first upscale boutique hotel, the Hotel Arvon, opened this fall in the historic downtown Arvon Block. Erck Hotels will start construction this spring on a 101-room Hilton Home 2 extended stay hotel. Town Pump recently announced plans to start construction this year on a new 90-room hotel in Great Falls.

 

GTF airport passenger traffic has increased 24% over the past 6 years. Travel Math ranked GTF the 10th best commercial airport in the nation. United will start new seasonal direct flights to Chicago this spring. The airport has awarded contracts to construct a $13 million crosswinds runway project this year. Glacier National Park set another visitation record in 2015. First Peoples Buffalo Jump earned National Historic Landmark status.

 

New 216-unit upscale Talus Apartments opens; announces 72-unit addition to be added this year. More than 200 additional apartments are under development across the city, including the 38-unit Voyageur Apartments, the 48-unit Skyline Heights apartments, 16-unit addition to the Cascade Ridge development, and NeighborWorks' first 12-unit apartment project.

 

NAHB ranks Great Falls as 19th best housing market in country. Great Falls named one of the Top 25 Best places in U.S. to retire by Forbes. Several new housing subdivisions have started, including the 155-acre Thaniel Subdivision with 88 homes in its first phase, the West Ridge Subdivision with 171 new homes on 58 acres, and the Cottage Grove Addition.

 

Great Falls College - Montana State University's Industrial Trades facilities expansion completed, home of the first joint U.S./Canadian certified welding training and testing center in the country. The College offers welding, fabrication, carpentry, energy technician, sustainable energy, and industrial trades training and education. The College is expanding its extensive medical programs with a new registered nurse program. Great Falls was ranked 16th small city in the nation for "Prime Workforce" by Area Development magazine. University of Great Falls nears completion of new 136-student housing complex and recreation projects.

 

Construction started on $7.5 million Cameron Family Center downtown. Eight new businesses opened downtown in 2015. Seventy-five renovation and new construction permits were pulled totaling $10,798,827. The new downtown Hi-Line Climbing Center is scheduled to open this spring. Construction will begin this month on a major downtown streetscape improvement project. The final phase of the Dunn-Brown building renovation is scheduled to start construction this spring.

 

New U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management 32,000 SF center nearing completion. State-of-the-Art MacLean Animal Adoption Center opened its 13,440 SF facility in 2015. Nine River's Edge Trail projects are underway along with further improvements to the City's riverfront West Bank Park.

 

West Bank Landing riverfront mixed-use development to start construction in mid-2016. Continuing the success of the award-winning West Bank One project, local developers have purchased a 12.5-acre riverfront site for mixed-use redevelopment. City continues improvements to riverfront West Bank Park.

 

US Air Force adding 216 positions at Malmstrom AFB; Montana Air National Guard adding facilities. hangars are under construction at the Montana National Air Guard base at Great Falls International Airport to house the unit's new C-130 mission. USAF recently announced that the 819th Red Horse Squadron will remain and grow at MAFB.

 

Great Falls Clinic opened new hospital and emergency room. Elkin Family Dentistry under construction. The Great Falls Clinic, in partnership with Symbion, just opened its new 19-bed, 60,000 SF hospital. Elkin Family Dentistry, DaVita Dialysis and Fresenius Medical Care/Great Falls Clinic dialysis center will soon open.

 

For more information on current and planned growth in the Great Falls, Montana trade area, contact Jeremiah Johnson at 1-406-750-3285 or JJohnson@GFdevelopment.org or Jolene Schalper at 1-406-750-4481 or JSchalper@GFdevelopment.org

 

 

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