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New Alberton subdivision bustles with construction

by MONTE TURNER
Mineral Independent | September 27, 2023 12:00 AM

Unless you’ve driven through Alberton lately, you are missing a housing boom on the east side of town that is only partially visible from I-90.

Thirty-six 1-acre lots became available this spring, “and I think there might be nine left for sale,” shared Al Dunlap with Regent Realty in St. Regis. “A builder in the Bitterroot bought some from the developer and a few of the others have activity on them, I’m told. The subdivision was actually recorded in March which means that legally you can convey ownership to another individual,” he explained.

The subdivision is known as The Meadows at Thompson Ranch with the remaining lots between $99,000 and $115,000. The buyer needs to have their own septic system installed and if the well is already tapped, that’s the main reason for the price increase.

Eleven homes are in the process of being built and on lot no. 3, the home is being built by two different families.

“’Couple More Days Development’ is what we’ve decided to call it. We’re doing this as a family investment,” explained Greg Malone, from the top of a 10-foot ladder.

“We’re going to sell it just as a builder would do with a spec-home,” said Malone’s wife, Jill, as she handed screws up to Greg.

The Malones live in Missoula and the other family involved is Colin and Tina Bagnell from Frenchtown along with their daughter, Chelsea, who recently moved back home from Bozeman and purchased lot no. 5.

“That kind of kick started this project,” said Colin. “Tina and I then decided to buy Lot #4, and then Greg, Jill and Tina bought this lot,” he explained.

Chelsea is going to build a home for herself on lot no. 5, and Colin and Tina aren’t sure what they are going to do with their lot.

“We love it out here,” Chelsea said as she is glad to be back home with her family, friends and horses. “The tax situation is great for people moving from Missoula County. It’s quiet and you’re 20 minutes to the Orange Street exit,” she smiled.

“There are certain things you have to hire out to have done so we’re hiring out our HVAC, our plumbing and electrical,” said Greg who is acting as the General Contractor. Greg has done building projects before but all for their personal use, said Jill. They also had a roofing company handle that part of the project, “Because we’re getting older and that type of work isn’t fun anymore,” laughed Colin. The septic and well systems are also going to be subcontracted out for the same reason the roof was.

The Malones and Bagnells had been in touch with Dunlap but nothing could be sold until everything was approved by Mineral County so the deed was transferred 6 months ago. And that is when most of the 11 homes under construction began pounding nails.