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Merc pharmacy building still standing as Marriott project moves forward

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MISSOULA, Mont. - Over a year ago Andy Holloran, a Bozeman-based developer, struck a deal with the city of Missoula to build a Marriott on the site of the former Missoula Mercantile. The deal also included preserving the pharmacy portion of the Merc.

Now ground is moving on the site. Holloran said the pharmacy is being "shored up," which means they are creating internal and external support systems for it.

Some residents expressed a little frustration at how long the project is taking, but each person we talked to thought the wait and the inconvenience were worth it to preserve a piece of downtown history.

"I think history is really important to Missoula, and I think keeping our downtown area, specifically, historic and having the origins of Missoula being on display is such a cool concept that I think that most Missoulians would just be open to maneuvering around the construction," said Missoula resident Arline Williams.

Holloran also said in two weeks, once the pharmacy building is shored up, work will begin on the new building.

The Merc has been a cornerstone in downtown Missoula since the 1880s.

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