Lewis & Clark County

Aug 3, 2011 6:14 PM by Melissa Anderson (Helena)

VA hopes to lease buildings at Fort Harrison

The VA at Fort Harrison is looking to lease 10 of its oldest campus buildings to the highest bidder.

The historic buildings from the late 1800's were once used as officer's quarters.

Because the buildings are not up to code, the VA is hoping that private developers might renovate them into permanent living space.

The VA would like to see the buildings used for either homeless veterans or more affordable housing for seniors or assisted living.

Teresa Bell of VA Montana noted, "It's a historic district here at Fort Harrison. They are all eligible for the Historic Registry, so there's potential tax credits and those kinds of things for developers. Housing for homeless veterans, you know, to keep them off the streets, that would be our ultimate goal."

The larger buildings are not up to seismic codes, and some of the other buildings have lead-based paint and other hazards that may need to be removed.

The enhanced use lease public comment period ends August 16th. The VA will then prepare a request for proposal for potential developers.

The VA hopes to award the proposals by December 31st.

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