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Brownfields Loan Revitalizes The Arvon Block

$128,000 Brownfields Loan Plays Major Role in Downtown Revitalization

“The grandest sight I ever beheld.” That’s how American explorer Meriwether Lewis described the Great Falls of the Missouri River during his and William Clark’s landmark expedition across the uncharted West in 1805.

More than two centuries later, Great Falls Montana Development Alliance (GFDA) is doing its best to keep Great Falls looking as grand as ever – by encouraging cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields properties. Our Brownfields Program offers a low-interest cleanup loan to make the re-purposing of old buildings approachable and feasible.

The Arvon Block on 1st Avenue South is one of the oldest buildings in Great Falls. Built in the late 1800s, the building was one of the earliest livery stables in the region. “The Arvon Block used to be a place you wouldn’t go near at night,” says Lillian Sunwall, Great Falls Brownfields Program Manager. There was still animal feed in the building when the cleanup began.

Developers received a $128,000 low-interest loan to clean up hazardous materials at the site, including lead paint and asbestos. The Arvon Block building now houses an Irish pub and restaurant, and a boutique hotel, all while retaining the building’s historic character.

Through relationships facilitated by GFDA, the Arvon Block was also able to leverage other funding sources. Because it retained much of the original façade and woodwork, the redevelopment project qualified for tax abatement as well as tax credits related to historic preservation.

To learn more about The Arvon Block, visit their website at


Learn more about our Brownfields Program

If you have a building or site you are looking at purchasing, contact our Brownfields Team BEFORE signing on the dotted line!

One of the keys to GFDA’s success is knowing when and whom to ask for help. You don’t have to be an expert in cleanup and redevelopment; leverage all the expertise you can. Great Falls Development Alliance has a pool of local environmental professionals who oversee the cleanup work, and we depend on our local historian to look into the old buildings and advise us on ways to preserve the town’s history.

Contact Lillian Sunwall for information and tools on how to get started:
1-406- 750-1253