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Downtown Continues to Grow: The 5 East Project

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Do you remember the Black-Olive proposal that originated in 2016 and was later approved in the fall of 2017? How about the One 11 Lofts that were proposed just this year? The developer behind both of these projects, Andy Holloran, has proposed another mid-rise building for the downtown area.

Called 5 East, the proposed six-story, mixed-use building will include 30 condos with space on both the second and third floors for retail and office space. The current proposal for 5 East also includes 29 parking spaces on the ground level, with a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom condos on the top four floors, all ranging from 790 to 1,500 square feet. Located on the corner of Mendenhall and Tracy, the build site currently houses the Straightaway Motors auto shop and several homes, which would be demolished per an agreement with the landowner.

While many downtown residents are still concerned that contemporary buildings will negatively impact Bozeman’s small-town charm and compromise its historic integrity, Holloran states that in order to preserve our open land and agricultural space, we need to further develop our urban core, which includes “building up” instead of “building out”. As it currently is, the proposal includes in the northwest portion of 5 East scaled down to three stories “in order to respect the lower-density housing to the north and provide open space and outdoor amenities for residents”. These amenities include landscaped outdoor terraces, restaurants, and a spa.

5 East is currently set for review by the city planning department. If the plan is approved, construction could begin as early as the beginning of 2019.

 

Current Mid-Rise Development Projects/Proposals

New Boutique Hotel Pays Tribute to Bozeman Architect Fred Willson

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Bozeman we all know and love today would look much different without the influence and design of Bozeman-born architect Frederick Willson.

After spending time in Paris following his graduation from Columbia University, Willson brought the influence of multiple architectural styles back to Bozeman with him, including Mission Revival and Art Deco. Over the next 46 years, he designed hundreds of well-known buildings in Bozeman and other Montana cities, including the Ellen Theatre, the Baxter Hotel, the Emerson Cultural Center, and both MSU’s original Student Union Building and Hamilton Hall. Although Willson died in 1956, his work can still be seen around Bozeman, West Yellowstone and Three Forks today.

Fast forward to 2018— the old National Guard armory building on the corner of Mendenhall and Willson will soon be transformed into the Etha Hotel, an eight-story boutique hotel with 122 rooms and a pool. Bozeman-based Venue Architects have plans to convert the concrete structure into a 17,000 square foot space, which will have enough room for an event area and an American bistro on the ground floor, and a bar or restaurant on the building’s rooftop.

The hotel will retain 98% of the original armory building, which was designed by Willson and constructed in 1941. The new building’s Art Deco style will imitate that of Willson’s previous designs, as elements such as doors and awnings have been taken from sketches of Willson’s that were never included in the armory’s original design. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

The Downtown Improvement Plan: Past, Present, & Future

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Over the last 30 years, various recommendations have been developed to improve downtown Bozeman, including everything from construction of more mixed-use buildings, to decreased parking requirements, to more affordable housing units. While some of these ideas have come to fruition in recent years, others are still on the table discussion. The most recent improvement plan states that all recommendations in the plan are both realistic and attainable, but because some require more analysis than others, they are either partially completed or haven’t been started yet.

While only a small portion of the recommendations presented in the original plan aren’t listed below, a list of ALL of the recommendations can be viewed here.

A few notable recommendations from this plan, which was released in 2009, include the following:

  • Addition of a downtown conference center
  • Construction of a “boutique” hotel
  • Addition of plazas and courtyards
  • Conversion of Babcock and Mendenhall to 2-way streets
  • Encouragement of bicyclist traffic downtown
  • Exposure of Bozeman Creek as a centerpiece of the downtown area
  • Extension of Babcock to connect to Bozeman Public Library

Almost a decade later, a 2018 Progress Report has been released. Here is the current status of the above recommendations:

  • Addition of a downtown conference center (Not Completed)

*However, a substantial amount of meeting space has been designated— American Legion, Baxter Hotel, Element Hotel, Emerson Cultural Center, etc.

  • Construction of a “boutique” hotel (Completed)

*Element Hotel—2015; Lark Hotel—under construction; Etha Hotel—construction to begin in 2018

  • Addition of plazas and courtyards for public use (Partially Completed)

*Element Hotel, 5 West, & Lark Hotel have front patios and rear courtyard spaces

  • Conversion of Babcock and Mendenhall to 2-way streets (Not Completed)

*Extensive traffic analysis for not only Babcock and Mendenhall is required, but also for Main, Lamme, Olive, N. 7th, Willson, Rouse and Wallace before this project can be further considered

  • Encouragement of bicyclist traffic downtown (Partially Completed)

*Four on-street bike parking stalls are available seasonally; Dero Fix-It Station was installed for cyclists to inflate tires and perform minor repairs; bike “sharrows” were added to Babcock & Mendenhall

  • Exposure of Bozeman Creek as a centerpiece of the downtown area (Not Completed)

*Financial constraints— the project will cost $350,000

  • Extension of Babcock to connect to Bozeman Public Library (Not Completed)

*Land needed for the extension is privately owned by Empire Building Materials and currently contains a warehouse. If the property is sold or redeveloped, this recommendation will be revisited.

 

​Downtown Boundary Map

Another Mid-Rise Building Proposed for Downtown Bozeman

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Last fall, construction on the controversial Black-Olive building was approved by Bozeman City Commissioners after more than a year of discussions, meetings, and revised design plans. Many Bozeman residents (and in particular, those who live downtown) were and still are concerned that the building will ruin Bozeman’s small-town charm, while others believe that the solution for our rapidly growing community is to “build up” instead of “build out”.

Andy Holloran, the same developer behind Black-Olive, has recently proposed plans for a five-story, 50-unit building on the corner of Lamme and Willson, across the street from the old Deaconess Hospital building. The new mid-rise (currently being called the One 11 Lofts) is expected to include 4 studios, 24 one-bedroom, 11 two-bedrooms, and 11 three-bedroom units. Based on its proposed location, the building is zoned in the city’s Central Business District— which means that the ground floor may or may not include commercial space for businesses.

Will Parking Be an Issue?

One of the major reasons why Black-Olive was originally denied was due to a lack of sufficient parking being included in the first round of design plans— only 37 on-site parking spaces for 56 apartments. Neighbors in the vicinity to Black-Olive were concerned about residents filling up already crowded street parking in front of their homes.

The One 11 building plans currently include 53 parking spaces for the 50 units, which is within the city’s requirements of a single space per unit. Most of these parking spaces will be located within an enclosed garage on the building’s first floor, with 6 spaces on the street outside. So far, the amount of parking provided in Holloran’s first draft of plans is significantly larger than that of Black-Olive.

Next Steps

Though construction on Black-Olive will begin in May, the One 11 plan is under review by the city. Planning documents describe the building as featuring corrugated metal, wood paneling, a flat roof and light-colored brickwork, ultimately giving it a “timeless and contextual quality”. Will this mid-rise threaten Bozeman’s small-town charm and obstruct mountain views? Or will it help maintain downtown’s sense of historic value while still offering a solution to limited housing in the area? For now, all we can do is wait to see how the city responds to the proposal.

 

Proposed Location for One 11 Building

New Local Businesses Contribute to Bozeman’s Rapid Growth

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Bozeman continues to grow, and we aren’t just talking about its population and endless road expansions all over town— new local businesses have been popping up all over town; Evergreen Clothing, Ekam Yoga, Stuffed Crepes and Waffles and Backcountry Burger Bar are just a few of the new businesses that have opened this year. But 2017 isn’t over yet— a new candy shop, new brewery and new diner are either slated to open their doors by year’s end, or have recently done so.

For Those With a Sweet Tooth…

Owner Kimberlee Greenough started Hush Salon in 2011 and has worked as a personal trainer for years, and is now pursuing a lifelong dream of owning her own candy shop. Set to open at the end of October, The Candy Jar will feature more than 500 types of chocolates, gummy candies and other classic candies, as well as a soda fountain and ice cream bar with Wilcoxsin’s and Montana-made syrups. The Candy Jar will be located near Wasabi on West Oak, and an open house on Halloween is currently in the works.

For Those Who Like Locally Crafted Beers…

If candy isn’t your thing, and craft beers are, you’re in luck. Mountains Walking Brewery and Pub opened in late September. Owner Gustav Dose grew up in both Taiwan and Japan, and has studied brewing around the world. His goal with this brewery was to make beers that can’t be made anywhere but Bozeman, taking into account factors such as our climate, altitude and native yeasts. The tap list changes daily, and will still feature familiar favorites in addition to rare finds. Mountains Walking is located on Plum Street on the east end of town.

For Those Who Appreciate Locally Grown Foods…

Opened in September by husband and wife duo Charley Graham and Lauren Reich, Little Star Diner has a menu that changes frequently, as most of the restaurant’s produce is grown by Reich. Depending on the time of year, and with Montana’s short growing season, you may find yourself faced with new menu options based on what’s available at that time. Reich has been growing produce for restaurants since 2009 and Graham was most recently a chef at Blackbird Kitchen. The couple is confident that by combining their culinary experience with the farm-to-table concept, Little Star Diner will soon become a local favorite in town. 

 

New Local Businesses in Bozeman​

Black-Olive Proposal Denied by Bozeman City Commissioners

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The long, drawn out debate over the Black-Olive proposal has finally ended. On April 11th, about 7 months after it was proposed in Sep. 2016, city commissioners decided to nix the proposal after concerns were raised about insufficient parking and blocked views of the surrounding countryside.

Bozeman residents seem to agree with this decision too. A recent poll conducted by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle showed that 65.2 percent of its readers approved of the city’s choice to deny the project.


black-olive proposal public poll

Bozeman Daily Chronicle: “Did Bozeman city leaders make the right choice to deny Black-Olive”

The project’s design was to feature 56 apartments in five stories and a commercial business space on the ground-floor, along with 37 on-site parking spaces.

With the proposed project site located so close to Bozeman’s cherished historic neighborhood south of Main Street, neighboring residents were concerned that the building would ruin “Bozeman’s small-town charm.”  

The major reason why commissioners voted 4-1 to deny the proposal was due to lack of sufficient parking, as all housing projects within Bozeman’s zoning districts require at least one parking space per unit. Neighbors in the vicinity to the Black-Olive project site raised concerns about residents filling up already crowded street parking in front of their homes.

So What Now?

The project’s developer, Andy Holloran, wants to regroup, modify the design, and resubmit the proposal for later review. If the parking issue and building aesthetics can be reworked and are in line with the development guidelines for downtown’s zoning district, the Black-Olive project may be revisited and reconsidered in the near future.

The Black-Olive project may have been scrutinized, but that’s not to say that mid-rise buildings are out of the picture for Bozeman. There are still three mid-rise projects that have either been approved, already built, or are currently under construction, including the SOBO Lofts, Element Hotel, and the 5 West Building.

All Current Mid-Rise Development Projects/Proposals

 

Perhaps this was the right project but for the wrong location, given that we may be seeing a reconfigured proposal again soon!

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Bozeman's 4th Mid-Rise Building Proposed To Replace An Old Grain Mill

 

What Is Parking Worth In Downtown Bozeman?

 

Another Mid-Rise Building Approved For Bozeman

Bozeman’s 4th Mid-Rise Building Proposed to Replace an Old Grain Mill

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Bozeman’s 4th mid-rise building is currently being scoped out for a site on the east side of downtown. This BG Mill building will have a little more character than the rest though, turning an old grain mill that has been vacant for decades into a 5-story, multi-use building with a mixed modern/rustic style architecture.

The proposed plan for the BG Mill project includes a parking garage and a small commercial space on the ground floor, 18,000 square feet of office space on the middle levels, and 10 condos on the top two levels. The project developers, Michael Ochsner and Chris Lohss, plan to integrate three silos from the grain mill into landscaping features and hopefully keep the “BG Mill” logo for the new building.

Although there has been a long, drawn-out debate over mid-rise buildings changing the character of Bozeman’s small-town charm, Ochsner and Lohss point out that the site, located on the southeast corner of Mendenhall Street and Broadway Avenue, is already surrounded by other existing commercial properties.

While residents are concerned that the Black-Olive project, another mid-rise building proposed for Bozeman, would cast a shadow over Bozeman’s southern historic downtown neighborhoods, the BG Mill project may not cause nearly the same issue.

Positioned between the south end of a neighborhood and the north end of downtown Main Street, the site seems to be better suited for its location where it wouldn’t obstruct views of the Bridger Mountains to the North—a major point in the argument against mid-rise buildings in Bozeman.

The project developers said they haven’t filed an application for the project yet, but plan to do so by next week. Once approved, construction of the BG Mill project is hoped to break ground this summer.

A public meeting will be held at the Bozeman Public Library on April 13 at 7 p.m. to discuss the project and gather feedback from the public.

All Current Proposed Mid-Rise Development Projects for Bozeman.

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What is Parking Worth in Downtown Bozeman?

by Hart Real Estate Solutions


Downtown Bozeman

As Bozeman continues to grow, parking becomes a major impediment to development. Specifically in the downtown area, where an empty lot can be worth nearly as much as the average home in Bozeman, parking spaces are valuable real estate.  

Between the growing downtown community and Montana State University, residents in Bozeman’s historic downtown neighborhoods are finding their streets lined with parked cars. Some downtown residents are even having trouble parking in front of their own home.

The development proposal for the “Northside Lofts,” another five-story building with 41 housing units, was denied because of this issue. There is just not enough parking available for added housing.

Why Not Just Build More Parking Garages?

For the same reason an empty lot downtown is going for $345,000, a single parking space (18’ by 9’, or 162 square feet) costs roughly $7,400. Including the 12’ of additional space for backing out, the true land cost of a parking space runs at more than $12,000. These estimates don’t even consider construction costs.

And stacking up multiple parking spaces on the same parcel does not help either. The same sized parking space in a parking building would cost an astounding $35,000, according to a city parking consultant.

Why Would This Matter to You?

Of course, parking costs are passed down to your housing costs. By the city development code, all housing projects within most of Bozeman’s zoning districts are required to provide at least one parking space per bedroom.

Breaking down the math, for a condo worth $221,250 (the median price of a condo sold in 2016), the cost of two parking spaces on the surface would cost roughly 10.8% of the home’s value! Underground parking would be even worse, reaching approximately 30% for the same space.    

How the city plans to accommodate parking as Bozeman continues to grow will determine the direction of downtown development projects. Neighbors in the shadow of downtown’s mid-rise buildings are lobbying to city planners with concerns with not only the parking issue, but also that the scale of these buildings are out of place with Bozeman’s small town charm.

Interestingly, there may be possible solutions in the works with the up-bringing of self-driving cars and car sharing similar to Uber. While it may not be practical in far outlying areas, downtown may be a great place to implement a public transportation system to reduce, or possibly eliminate, the need for parking. 


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The Interesting History Behind Bozeman Street Names

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Established in peak times of the Gold Rush, Bozeman, Montana has an interesting background with some extraordinary founders. Much of Bozeman’s roads were named in honor of individuals who were monumental to the town’s success.

Here are few meaningful road names in Bozeman with an interesting history.

 

Bozeman Avenue

The city founder, John Bozeman, left his family behind to travel west in his quest for gold. He failed to find gold, so he took on a different venture—trail blazing. He guided wagon trains on the Bozeman Trail to Virginia City. Mr. Bozeman was a risk-taking gambling man. He embraced the dangers of breaking treaties with local Indian tribes by traveling through their territory.

Admiring the landscape of the Gallatin Valley, he eventually settled and began his most instrumental work in 1864—building the city of Bozeman. With help of his two partners, William J. Beall and Daniel Elliott Rouse, he built the first log homes, church, and school.

Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to see his city prosper. In 1867, at age 32, he was found murdered along the Yellowstone River. While the Blackfeet Indians were originally blamed for his murder, rumors have spread that his partner, Thomas Cover, had motive to murder him as a jealous husband. Historians even suspected that a henchman was hired to kill Mr. Bozeman on behalf of Nelson Story, the richest man in Bozeman. There is still no physical evidence to prove who the true killer was.

 

Beall Street

William J. Beall helped build the first church and school in Bozeman. Mr. Beall met John Bozeman and Daniel Rouse on his way to sell potatoes to gold miners in Virginia City. Giving up on their hopes in the gold rush, the three men decided to build a town in the fertile farmland of the Gallatin Valley. He built his home just north of Main Street, marking one of the first homes in Bozeman.

 

Rouse Avenue

Daniel Elliott Rouse was a traveler and farmer who lived in and helped establish settlements all over the United States. He moved to the Gallatin Valley in 1862, where he met John Bozeman and William Beall. Mr. Rouse helped build the first cabins and hotels in 1864.

 

Alderson Street

William White Alderson contributed a lot to the success of the town. He helped build a Methodist Church, hauled in logs for the town’s first school, started a dairy herd, served as an agent with the Sioux tribe, and became one of the first members of Bozeman’s municipal council.

 

Babcock Street

Carpenter William H. Babcock made the long journey to Bozeman from San Francisco in 1864. As an architect, he oversaw the construction of the Bozeman Opera House in 1888. Mr. Babcock became a rich man in Bozeman. He built a mansion known as “the Castle” on North Church Avenue and Davis Street, which is now long gone.

 

Black Avenue

This road was named after a successful businessman in Bozeman, Leander Black. Straight from Kentucky, he partnered with Achilles Lamme from Missouri to open a general store, competing with Lester Willson’s general store on the north-side of the street. With three other partners, Mr. Black expanded his business by opening the First National Bank of Bozeman in 1872.

 

Durston Road

Durston Road was named after an iconic Montana newspaper editor, John Durston. He was a highly educated man with a degree from Yale and a doctorate in Philosophy from the Heidelberg University. In 1887, Mr. Durston moved to Anaconda, Montana. In 1889, he became editor of the Anaconda Standard. After leaving the Anaconda Standard in 1912, he established the Butte Daily Post in 1913. Although he didn’t live in Bozeman, he invested in Bozeman real estate, and presumably owned a home on what is now Durston Road.

 

Story Street

Nelson Story had better luck in the gold rush than Mr. Bozeman and the other founders, making a fortune in Virginia City. With his riches, he bought approximately 1000 head of Texas Longhorns and took a big risk in the first major cattle drive through dangerous Indian territory from Texas to Montana. Mr. Story became Bozeman’s first millionaire and built the first Story Mansion on Main Street in Bozeman, then later built a second Story Mansion on the corner of Willson and College for his son, T. Byron Story. He also owned one of Bozeman’s first banks and flour mill, and donated land to launch the Montana Agricultural College.

 

Wilson Avenue

Lester Willson served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He rose through the rankings after enlisting as a private in 1861, reaching the rank of colonel by 1865. He was known for his “gallant and meritorious services under General Sherman, resulting in the fall of Atlanta, Georgia.”

In 1867, he left New York to take on a business venture in Bozeman, opening Bozeman’s first general store on 204 E. Main Street. He lived a long, fulfilling life, dying at age 79 in 1919. The community showed their respect for Willson by honoring him with the largest funeral the town had ever seen. Central Avenue was then renamed Willson Avenue in his honor.

 

The city of Bozeman had grown and prospered, becoming a major city of Montana with a population of 8,500 by 1910.

 

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Related Article:

How Did The City of “Bozeman” Get Its Name?

 

Sources:

About The Anaconda standard. (Anaconda, Mont.) 1889-1970

Lester S. Willson

John H. Durston, B. 1858, Syracuse, NY> 1887 MT – BIO

“Nelson Story”

Street names keep Bozeman’s colorful history alive

How Did The City of "Bozeman" Get Its Name?

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

 

The town of Bozeman was named after the man who made the Bozeman Trail, John Bozeman. Mr. Bozeman took part in the gold rush and traveled west from the mines in Colorado to mines in Deer Lodge, Montana, leaving his wife and children behind. Having failed in his quest for gold, he decided to take on a different venture—trail blazing. 

With help from his friend, John Jacobs, he created the Bozeman Trail in 1863 as a shortcut for gold miners traveling west from the Oregon Trail in Wyoming to Virginia City, Montana, a historic gold mining town.

Admiring the beauty of the Gallatin Valley at “the gate of the mountains,” John Bozeman settled in what came to be the town of Bozeman in 1864. Being near the trail, the town was able to flourish and grow as more travelers, gold miners, and businessmen eventually settled here.  

Only several years after he established the town in his name, John Bozeman was found murdered by the Yellowstone River in April 1867. While the partner he was traveling with, Thomas Cover, claims they were attacked by the Blackfeet Indians, historians suspect that Cover himself may be the murder culprit as a jealous husband—Mr. Bozeman was known to be a bit of a “ladies’ man.” 

Interestingly, a new suspect was found later after a rumor was spread by Stan Stephans, a retired farmer and rancher from the Crow reservation, that a henchman was hired to kill Mr. Bozeman. Stan shared a story passed down in his family that Tom Kent, a former cattle wrangler for the richest man in Bozeman, Nelson Story, once told the Stephans family that he killed John Bozeman on behalf of Mr. Story. However, there is still no physical evidence to prove who the true killer was.

Source:

John M. Bozeman” by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Historians find new suspect in John Bozeman murder mystery” by Gail Schontzler

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