New 203-unit apartment project in Missoula

A large national property developer is in the first stages of building a $40 million, 203-unit high-end apartment complex in the South Hills neighborhood of Missoula.

Rockefeller Group, a nearly 100-year-old company based in New York that constructs, owns and manages real estate across the country, is building a development called the Pine Apartments at 5001 Hillview Way in Missoula.


Construction activity at the new $40 million apartment project on Hillview Way in the South Hills neighborhood of Missoula on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

It’ll be part of a larger housing development called Wildroot.

The Pine project will consist of five three-story buildings. The common area amenities will include a pool, hot tub, fire pit, grills, pet wash, community space, coworking spaces and a park that ties into the Missoula trail system.

Site work began in the spring of 2022 and the first building, which also includes the pool and clubhouse, will open in the summer of 2024.

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“With Pine at Wildroot, Rockefeller Group is expanding our residential portfolio to Montana, one of the nation’s top 10 states for population growth,” said Dave Klebba, managing director for Rockefeller Group’s Rocky Mountain region. “Missoula is consistently regarded as one of the most desirable places to live in the country and given our project’s proximity to the University of Montana, combined with the increase in population, we are confident that this project will be very successful.”


Construction personnel work Tuesday at the new apartment project being built on Hillview Way in the South Hills neighborhood.

Klebba called the project “class A” real estate, as it’s new construction in a desirable location with high-end finishes and materials. The company won’t release asking rental prices until the units are closer to being move-in ready.

Stockman Bank has provided a $40.3 million construction loan for the project.

“As a local bank with deep Montana ties, Stockman is pleased to provide financing to Rockefeller Group’s Pine at Wildroot development and believe this project will serve the residential needs of our growing community,” said Bob Burns, Missoula market president. “Given Rockefeller Group’s long history of development and our existing relationship with Pando (Holdings), this loan is consistent with our mission to serve the people, businesses and communities of Montana.”

Rockefeller purchased the property from Denver-based Pando Holdings, who will maintain a joint venture interest in the property.

The 105-acre chunk of mostly vacant land at 5001 Hillview Way was one of the largest undeveloped tracts ever sold in Missoula when it was bought by Pando Holdings in 2022.

With views of the entire city, the land was once owned by Sophie Craighead. She’s a philanthropist based in Wyoming who is the daughter of the late Charles W. Engelhard Jr., a wealthy minerals industrialist. Sophie Craighead is married to ecologist Derek Craighead, who is the son of the late John Craighead, a Missoula conservation legend. There was only one house on the property for many years.

Pando Holdings currently owns over 95 acres of land adjacent to the Pine at Wildroot apartments where they plan to develop Wildroot, a new single-family residential community.


Ongoing construction at the new apartment project on Hillview Way in the South Hills on Tuesday.

“When we discussed the project with Rockefeller Group, we understood that they wanted a financial partner with deep Montana interests and knowledge of the market,” said Lance Gutsch, managing partner at Pando Holdings. “We were able to cultivate that relationship with a bank that we work with and who shared other commonalities with us and the team at Rockefeller Group, such as how we like to do business.”

Cushing Terrell of Missoula is the architect and Missoula-based Quality Construction is the general contractor.

Montana is in a three-way tie for 12th in terms of the percent change in population from 2020 to 2023, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. But it was one of only six states with a population growth rate of over 1.5% from 2021 to 2022.

Developers have been furiously building housing in Missoula for much of the last decade to keep up with population demand and a serious shortage of affordable options.

The total market value of all construction in Missoula in 2022 was $322.7 million, just shy of the all-time record of $325.2 million set in 2021.

David Erickson is the business reporter for the Missoulian. 

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