Crews are deconstructing part of the last remaining piece of the Missoula Mercantile, on Monday removing bricks from the top half of the south wall of the pharmacy.
A development agreement for the Marriott hotel that will replace the historic Mercantile building includes a condition to preserve its pharmacy section. As of Monday, the roofless pharmacy consisted of its north and west walls, and part of the south wall.
Don Verrue, assistant director at the city’s development services department, said once the top portion of the south wall of the pharmacy is removed, the developer’s plan is to replace the base of the second story with a concrete floor, which will be connected to the still-standing north and west walls and extend through the second story of the entire hotel once it’s built.
“They’re taking it down to 15, 16 feet. They are going to save the bottom part of that wall,” Verrue said.
Verrue said he didn’t know how the removal of the half of the wall will affect the $335,000 in public money the Marriott developers have been promised by the Missoula Redevelopment Agency if they preserve the pharmacy, an obligation secured by the City Council when it voted to grant the demolition permit application last year.
“We don’t have the 100 percent plans yet. We should get them within the next month. Then we will be able to compare those to the development agreement,” Verrue said.
As part of the development agreement between the city and the hotel developers, the pharmacy portion of the building was excluded from demolition, and the document specified that Holloran intends to preserve it.
All contractors working on the project are also required to carry risk insurance and performance bonds for the obligation to keep the pharmacy building intact.
“The builder’s risk insurance shall be of sufficient amount to…