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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

On the Rise: Condos and Townhomes

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

If you drive past any part of Bozeman, you’ll more than likely find some sort of new housing development under construction. What may be surprising for some though is how many of these new developments are actually condos and townhomes, as opposed to traditional single-family detached homes. With both mortgage rates and gas prices having risen recently, some buyers (especially younger, prospective buyers) may feel a bit uncertain about what they’re able to afford. Luckily, condos and townhouses may be more attainable than they think.

Nationally, new townhouses account for 12.3% of all single-family housing starts according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Over the past 5 years, the number of new construction condos and townhomes for sale in Bozeman has fluctuated quite a bit, with the most recent dip in activity having taken place in March of 2017. Since then, the number of condos and townhomes for sale has been on the rise. In Belgrade, there has also been some fluctuation during this same time period, with new condos and townhomes for sale having also been on the rise since March of 2017, though not nearly as rapidly as Bozeman.

 

Condos and Townhouses for Sale in Bozeman & Belgrade, Jan. 2013 - Present

            

This data was pulled from the Big Sky Country MLS for 2018. While we attempt to provide reliable, useful information, we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, current or suitable for any particular purpose. Estimates are subject to change without notice.

Similarly, the median sales price for condos and townhomes has also risen in recent years. As of April 2018, the median sales price for both condos and townhomes was $289,900, while in Belgrade this median sales price was $267,400. (Disclaimer: either of these numbers could be skewed toward the higher end of the spectrum by a higher-end listing on the market.) While this may still seem high to many, the median sales price of a single-family home in April 2018 was $396,250, while in Belgrade this median sales price was $310,000. (Again, either of these numbers could be skewed toward the higher end of the spectrum by a higher-end listing on the market.)  Based on these stats, choosing to purchase a condo or townhouse in Bozeman (as opposed to a single-family home) could save you up to $106,350, while choosing to purchase a condo or townhouse in Belgrade (as opposed to a single-family home) could save you up to $42,600.

Number of Condo/Townhouse Sales 2014 - Present

Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for NAHB, states that “future gains in the share as townhouses are a useful bridge from rentership to homeownership for younger prospective buyers in high cost markets…”. This is good news for millennials, as they represented 34% of all homebuyers across other generations in 2017. With condo and townhouse construction on the rise, we can continue to expect an increase in closed sales for these types of homes as we move further along into 2018, and even into 2019.

 

5 Spring Cleaning Projects You Can Complete This Weekend

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

With warm, sunny days finally starting to become the norm as we move closer to the summer months, some of us may have caught the spring cleaning fever. An annual deep cleaning once winter’s chill has thawed will allow your home to “air out”, while the warm weather may help you find the motivation you need to get started.

There are a wide variety of spring cleaning projects you could tackle this year— here are a few of the biggest:

  1. The Windows (including any screens) 
  • For clean windows that are streak-free, mix one part hot water with one part distilled vinegar. Moisten a sponge with the solution, then wipe down windows. Dampen a squeegee and clean from the top down, wiping off the squeegee after each stroke. Be sure to clean windows when there is no direct sunlight hitting them— the heat can cause the glass to dry too quickly, leaving you with streaks.
  • To clean the screens, give them a good rinse with the garden hose. Three parts warm water and one part household ammonia makes an effective cleaning solution. Scrub in small circles from top to bottom, and rinse with the hose again when finished.
  1. The Ceiling Fans
  • Dust and grime can easily build up on those hard-to-reach places in your home, and the ceiling fans are no exception. An easy way to clean the blades without letting the dust fall on the floor is to wrap a pillowcase around the blade and “pull” the dust off. You can then give each blade a more thorough wipe down once the initial layer of dust is gone.
  1. The Carpets
  • Even if you vacuum on a regular basis year-round, a deep clean will reach into the carpet fibers to clean out any food particles or debris that your vacuum alone cannot reach. If you don’t want to hire a professional carpet cleaner, renting a professional-grade cleaner from a home improvement store will also get the job done effectively.
  1. The Refrigerator and Freezer
  • This one’s a no brainer. Throw out anything that’s past its expiration date or that you know you’ll never touch again and consolidate sauces when possible. Take the shelves and icemaker out and give them all a good wipe down. Be sure you wipe any drawers and shelves too. 
  1. The Trashcan
  • That’s right— the trashcan. Any lingering garbage smells you’ve noticed over the winter were likely coming from your trashcan, even after you had already taken out the garbage. Give it a good scrub with hot soapy water in the backyard. This may be the dirtiest job on our list, but it’s an important one that many don’t think of.

While spring cleaning projects aren’t enjoyable for everyone, most will agree that once the hard work is finished and you sit back to admire your clean, sparkling house, the hassle of cleaning is well worth the time and effort.

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.

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