Bozeman has gone forward with plans to input a new urban renewal district on the North 7th area to beautify and densify the district.
The area, now rebranded as Midtown or Midtown Bozeman, has struggled with its lack of connection to the other parts of Bozeman and it’s urban, box-store feel. The area grew during the 60’s and 70’s, and has a basis in automobile transportation. For this reason, most of North Seventh has strip-mall style commercial businesses.
In the proposed plan, the district would try to foster developments that attract both commercial and residential patrons, ideally in mixed-use buildings. Bozeman wants to create the district so it also can become a center of activity, adding new conference and event venues. Bozeman has already worked on upgrading the fiber-optic cables in Bozeman and this new project would add cable to the Midtown Bozeman area.
Commissioners will use a TIF (a tax increment finance district) to help beautify the area and make aesthetic improvements. By using a TIF, Bozemanites will not see their taxes increase unless they are within the district. Bozeman used TIF funds in 2015 to fund the expansion of one of its downtown elementary schools, Hawthorne.
A similar urban renewal plan was put in place for Bozeman’s downtown in 1995, a change that has been considered a huge success since its implementation.