NeighborWorks News

2018 Most Improved Award Winners

Katie Batterbee - Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Today, NeighborWorks celebrated improvements in Great Falls at the Annual Most Improved Awards. These awards honor folks who improve our city and the property owners who have invested their hard-earned funds into the historic neighborhoods of Great Falls. The 2018 Award Winners are listed below.

Most Improved Rental – Joel and Jenny Todd, 624 5th Avenue South:

This blighted property sat vacant for 17 years when a buyer out of Bozeman bought it off of a tax sale and was overwhelmed with the project. Soon after, Joel and Jenny Todd purchased this property for its beauty, character and historical features and set to work. They installed a new boiler, new sewer, new windows, refinished staircases, re-plumbed, rewired, re-roofed, and repainted (just to name a few things). There are five units located within the property.

Most Improved Residential – Michael Croscutt, 2301 Central Avenue:

Michael’s son purchased the house in 2008. They started out with the foundation and went on to gutting the house and remodeling it. This most improved award is 10 years of hard work and determination in the making. Thank you for helping beautify our community!

Most Improved Commercial Property - The Diegel Building, 26 4th Street North:

The Diegel Building has been under renovation since September of 2016. The owners, Paul and Tom Diegel and the property manager, Allison Smith have worked hard and still are planning more finishing touches. The building was 4 or 5 separate structures at one point and now house Keen Kut, Gateway and formerly Sutherlands.

Best New Building Award: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Great Falls 421 3rd St NW:

They started construction in January 2017 and opened on April 12, 2018. The hotel boasts 4 floors, with 132 suites, an indoor heated pool, a fitness center and 4 meeting rooms with over 2600 square feet of meeting space. Located on the Missouri River in the heart of Montana, Great Falls provides a base camp for a wide range of outdoor adventures and offers a haven of rich arts, and culture.

Best New Downtown Building Award - Lithia Motors, 800 Central Avenue:

They purchased the building from Bennett Motors in 2015 and started construction in October of 2015. Construction was finished in February 2018 and grand opening is set for late summer.

Best Adaptive Re-use of a Building: Peak West Bank Landing, 401 3rd Street NW:

The building was built in the early 1880's and was part of the first settlement in the area as a hub for the BNSF Railway. The renovation and construction started in the beginning of 2017 and just opened the facility in January of 2018. The facility is located on the Missouri River that boasts 15,000 square feet of amenities including first class equipment – state of the art cardio machines, and a spacious equipment floor, 3 studios, and a kids club childcare.

Volunteer of the Year – Sandy Rice:

Sandy has made Great Falls a better place to live for many years volunteering at Meals on Wheels, joining the AAUW, and getting appointed, then elected to Neighborhood Council 7, and the Downtown Safety Alliance. As a member of the Safety Alliance, she visited all of the Councils to talk about safety downtown, pan-handling diversion and bringing good news about the ascendancy of Downtown as THE place to shop, eat, play, live and recreate. Sandy loves living in the downtown neighborhood and does her best to make it a better place to live always picking up trash and keeping her eyes open for more ways to make Downtown Great Falls a great place.


NeighborWorks Board Member Recognition – Brett Doney:

Brett is the President and CEO of the Great Falls Development Authority and High Plains Financial. He has over 30 years’ experience leading economic development organizations. He was a NeighborWorks Board member for nine years and always had great input to bring NeighborWorks to a new level.


Business Partner of the Year - Leonard Lundby – Triangle Turf:

Leonard at Triangle Turf is always one of NeighborWorks’ most pleasant vendors. NeighborWorks Great Falls has been working with him for 8 years with our Sod and Spray program every spring. Leonard is a fantastic supporter of NeighborWorks.

Realtor of the Year - Polly Pearson/Abby Williams, Keller Williams:

Keller Williams was involved in more NeighborWorks customer’s transactions, as a listing realtor and even a few as a selling realtor, than any other real estate professional in Great Falls.Thank you for helping our customers become homeowners!


Lending Partner of the Year – Doug Spence, Embark Credit Union:

Doug is a lender that goes above and beyond always finding the best product for his clients. Doug was involved in the most transactions with NeighborWorks loan products. Doug is always helpful and attentive to each of his customers – he looks at where they are at and gives them every option he can find in order to get them into a home. He loves to help people and always guides them in the right direction with a smile.


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