What Of Westgate?

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So we learned this week that Westgate Mall will be demolished, and 35 businesses must now find a new place to live, and several mall employees will be out of a job. And the owner of the building says that there are no plans to build anything on the site – it will simply be left as a huge empty lot.

OK, I don’t know a lot about commercial real estate and tax breaks and such – but surely there’s SOMETHING that could be done, right? Here’s two ideas that have popped into my head:

– Would it be possible to turn Westgate Mall into a new animal shelter for Great Falls? Would it be cheaper for the folks that are working to build the new animal shelter to instead buy or lease Westgate Mall? It’s got more than enough room for shelter operations, is more easily accessible than the existing shelter (and site of the new shelter), has plenty of empty surrounding space to allow for outdoor activities, etc.

– Can the current tenants of Westgate Mall band together – maybe with some assistance from the Great Falls Development Authority or some such agency – and purchase the property, or otherwise make arrangements to keep the mall operating?

I don’t know how feasible either of these ideas are – but maybe worth considering.



  1. I am a small business owner currently renting an office at Westgate Mall. I do not think that the plan mentioned in the artcle would be feasable. I am certain that (just my theory) the owners have sold out because they couldn’t stay afloat without attracting a bigger store but no large store wants to be in the old building. It makes me sad…I remember that Mall from my childhood… The small businesses that are there now create a good-feeling and diverse atmosphere that is full of warmth. Fair Thee Well!

  2. It is a sad deal. I know the parking lot at Westgate is going to hell. And don’t start with GFDA. Has that organization done anything on bringing any businesses to town in the last 5 years, except for some fast food joints and a couple hotels?

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