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Bozeman Honored as Top 16 Worldwide Destination

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Los Angeles journalists might finally be catching up to the rest of us Bozemanites who have already made Bozeman home. In a recent article, the LA Times shared their top 16 destinations to visit in the world in 2016. Bozeman, MT made the list, which included other exotic locations such as Botswana; Paris, France; Iran; Dublin, Ireland; Cartagena, Columbia and Washington DC among others. The list did not order from 1 to 16, so Bozeman’s honor put it on equal footing with these other spectacular locations.

The article highlighted Bozeman as the tourist gateway to Yellowstone National Park. In 2014, 3,936,162 people who visited Montana, travelled to Bozeman as well. In 2015, that number grew to 4.4 million plus visitors. Tourist spending broke 4 billion in 2014.

The LA Times looked at Bozeman’s growing hospitality industry as an example of the positive momentum for the town in general. For example, the Lark Hotel on Main Street, after only its first year of business, has already moved forward with plans to expand their hotel. The hotel already had 90% occupancy rates, showing how many people now want to visit the Bozeman area. Forty-six percent of people who drove through Bozeman with no intentions of stopping, stayed in the town for at least one night in 2014. In 2015, that number rose to 48 percent.

The LA Times article also highlighted the local restaurants in the area and of course, Yellowstone National Park, as major draws for the small Montana town we call home. Local officials credited Bozeman’s tourism growth to the expanding airport, which has made travel to Yellowstone and beyond much easier for out of state visitors.

As Bozeman continues to grab more national attention, it can be expected that more people will visit Bozeman. More than a few are more than likely to catch “the Bozeman bug” so to speak and look to make Bozeman a more permanent destination. So long as that continues, Bozeman real estate can look forward to continued growth and recovery as the market expands.

 

Source: http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-d-16-places-20151227-story.html

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Bozeman-makes-list-for-top-2016-destinations/37167738

http://www.kpax.com/story/30846496/paris-spain-ireland-and-bozeman-city-joins-list-of-must-see-destinations

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Bozeman-hotel-expands-after-successful-year/37343366

Bozeman Has Fastest Growing Economy in Montana

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

According to some recent analysis, Bozeman has the fastest growing economy in Montana. Bozeman has seen increases in wages, its construction and manufacturing industries, available jobs and student population in recent years.

Wages have increased in Bozeman by 5 percent, compared to Montana’s 2 percent.

Construction has been on the rise and building is once again booming in the area. Before the recession, Bozeman issued around 500 permits per year on average. That figure dropped to approximately 200 in 2008, but this year 467 permits were issued. Construction also added 367 jobs between 2013 and 2014. It would be expected that those figures increased in 2015 as well.

Manufacturing also saw job growth, coming in second to the construction sector and adding 199 jobs in 2014.

Bozeman’s technology industry, of course, has had the biggest effect on Bozeman’s landscape and future outlook. Since the sale of RightNow Technologies in 2011 to Oracle, the economy has seen a significant lift. Oracle just recently announced that it will be expanding once again and will be adding even more jobs to the Bozeman area. That article has been included in this newsletter and can also be read here.

Other major companies have also looked to expand in their local locations. Simm’s, a fishing products dealer, announced this year that they will expand their production facility in the area, adding 160 additional employees.

Gallatin County is also the number 1 county in economic investment in the state of Montana. Montana State University continues to provide opportunities to its students for start up companies and other similar ventures. MSU has set records for enrollment, partly based on the fact that so many students on the tech side of the University have had so much recent success.

Bozeman continues its positive momentum. Its economy continues to grow, the housing sector appears to have recovered, and many different industries in the area have thrived in recent years.

 

Source: http://billingsgazette.com/business/bozeman-s-economy-is-montana-s-strongest-fastest-growing/article_ad0d2383-77e4-59f1-924a-794c8856c27a.html

 

Oracle Building New Operations Center - Google, Facebook Next?

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Oracle Corporation has agreed to a 10-year lease on a new 20,000 square foot building that is currently under construction. Likely, the expansion will also provide additional jobs to Bozeman’s booming technology industry. In total, Oracle will now have 120,000 square feet of offices in Bozeman.

Oracle plans on using the new building as a global operation center which would control Oracle’s network of other data centers. The building will also be used as a “showcase building” for local visitors and high level executives.

Oracle continues to expand its presence in Bozeman, offering additional jobs and an economic boost to the local community. Bozeman continues to invest in itself while local and national businesses continue to invest in Bozeman. In 2015, Bozeman had the fastest growing economy in the state of Montana.

In early December, news also came via the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that both Google and Facebook have also met with local officials to determine whether they might be interested in opening data centers in Bozeman as well. Having major corporations expand or build new data centers in Bozeman will only attract an even higher tech presence to the area.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/economy/new-oracle-operations-center-to-bring-bozeman-more-tech-jobs/article_1875caa6-2d00-560b-98ac-e6d55c0a5069.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/economy/officials-clearing-way-for-google-or-facebook-to-build-data/article_6a3c5b03-20b8-594c-a392-401ebd42ba48.html

 

New Fenced Dog Park Near Bozeman Pond Open

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

If anyone had still questions whether Bozeman is a dog friendly town, that topic can be put to rest as Bozeman has added yet another dog park to its repertoire. The new 2 acre dog park opened next to the Bozeman Pond and will eventually be incorporated into Bozeman’s plans to expand the Bozeman Pond Park. Many homes in the nearby area have small to no backyards. This park will make it more convenient for dog owners to take their pets on a walk and get them some exercise.

Bozeman has added multiple dog parks, including a 20+ acre off leash park and other smaller parks similar to this new project. Snowfill Dog Park also expanded its trail system this year.

The new park is open but will still be adding a shaded pavilion and a small dog/puppy area. The new park came from land purchased by the City of Bozeman from the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (read more about land trusts here. The city used money from the 2012 trails, open spaces and parks bond. The Bozeman Pond Park recently received additional funding for its expansion as well.  

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/run-dog-run-opens-dog-park-near-bozeman-pond/article_3566ca27-f940-5703-a519-d2fb006a0266.html

 

Bozeman's New "Midtown" Gets Started

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

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.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-commission-gives-north-th-renewal-plan-the-go-ahead/article_8b462c22-ae6a-5b99-90b2-f0c9a748c161.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/north-seventh-renewal-plan-on-bozeman-agenda/article_55be43fb-fa22-5c17-bb4c-83c3b0abe93d.html

Building on Bozeman Main Street Renovated and Open for Business

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

An older building on the corner of Grand and Main Street in Bozeman finished their renovations in late October and is once again open for business. The building, known as the Dutton Building, sits near the entrance into Bozeman and will help add more visual appeal to Bozeman’s downtown.

The building had housed several restaurants over the past few years. After a few of them went out of business, the owners took the opportunity to tear down and renovate 2/3 of the building while adding a second floor.

The City Beautification Advisory Board bestowed and award on the building for its appearance and fit into Bozeman’s downtown atmosphere while the Downtown Bozeman Partnership said the building helps create a new visual entrance into town.

Renovation on the building was all privately funded. Businesses inside say renovations have helped drive additional, different customers to them. The owners are looking for additional businesses for their second floor.

 

Source: http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Redesigned-downtown-Bozeman-building-revitalizes-street-corner/36084654

Bozeman Commission Passes Inclusionary Zoning Plan

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

After nearly a year of discussion and research from residents, consultants and builders alike, and after a voted delay in September, the Bozeman City Commission decided to move forward with a two-stage plan to help lower home values in Bozeman.  The plan, ideally, will help Bozemanites with modest means better afford to buy homes within the city limits.

Although the areas surrounding Bozeman have more reasonable home and rent values and although Bozeman’s cost of living is not outrageously above national averages, the city made it clear, by their decision, that they want Bozeman itself to remain a diverse and affordable place to live. Opponents to the plan did not want to hamper down a recently recovered housing market. Builders, who require on average 22 subcontractors to build a home, also felt the plan put too much financial risk on their shoulders.

The proposal has two phases to try to get builders and developers to start building affordable homes—one voluntary and one mandatory. The mandatory phase would only come into use should the voluntary phase not produce 54 affordable homes within the next two years.  Only the mandatory phase includes plans for inclusionary zoning – the most controversial aspect of the new ordinance.

The voluntary phase, as mentioned, requires that at least 54 affordable homes be built in 2 years within Bozeman city limits. During the voluntary phase, the city would try to entice builders to add affordable homes into their existing plans by including incentives like reduced lot size requirements, relaxed parking standards, expedited plan review and impact fee subsidies, incentives the city already may have added anyways. The voluntary phase also requires that at least 14 affordable homes are built by September 2016, otherwise, it would revert to the mandatory phase after only one year.

If the voluntary phase fails, then the city would move to a mandatory inclusionary zoning ordinance. In this phase, subdivisions would be required to either make 1 out of ever 10 units affordable to Bozeman residents making 80% of Bozeman’s median income or to make 3 out of every 10 affordable to residents making the median income.

Please read Eric Dietrich’s great follow up article going into the nitty gritty details of the new zoning ordinance here.

The new plan should help lower home values in Bozeman, helping free up more buyers in Bozeman’s housing market. How it will affect sellers and builders is yet to be determined. Rental values might also be impacted. High rents have been keeping investment properties in Bozeman at very high values. With additional homes on the market, both rental values and investment property values may decrease, helping keep renters in home while also helping them jump into homeownership.

 

Source: http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Bozeman-City-Commission-passes-inclusionary-housing-ordinance/36512554

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/blogs/city/questions-and-some-answers-about-bozeman-s-new-housing-plan/article_be2e9b16-b1e8-5ce7-8f34-982e270cd21e.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/split-city-commission-passes-housing-plan/article_7080761a-5287-59dc-a4fd-7f73a12e3f7e.html

 

 

Bozeman Schools Gain 1,000 Students Over 6 Years

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

If anyone needed additional proof of Bozeman’s growth and the growth of its schools, October’s official enrollment count from the Bozeman School District showcased that growth in the last few years.

Since 2009, Bozeman schools have risen from an enrollment of 5,481 students to 6,505 students today—representing more than 1,000 additional students.

Year over year, 211 more students are enrolled in Bozeman schools than in 2014.

The headcounts set records in eight elementary schools and both middle schools. Bozeman middle schools gained 97 students, up 7% from last year, while Bozeman elementary schools have gained 91 students, up 3% from last year.

Luckily, Bozeman voters approved two bonds in the November 2015 elections to expand Hawthorne Elementary School and Sacajawea Middle School.

Bozeman High School, currently the best ranked high school in Montana, added 13 students. Next year Bozeman will have its largest freshman class yet at 626 students. The district has already formed an advisory group and will work to find the consultants and architects necessary to begin building a second high school.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/bozeman-schools-gain-students-in-six-years/article_7da19f73-30cf-50f5-8fec-fbea88b1f60e.html

 

Gallatin County Housing Market Update - November 2015

by Tim Hart

This month, we will compare Condo and Townhome sales in the Gallatin County for the first three quarters of 2015. Here are a few stats for Gallatin County townhomes and condominiums:

  • From Quarter 1 to Quarter 2, total home sales increased by 77.50%(120 sold in Quarter 1, 213 sold in Quarter 2)
  • From Quarter 2 to Quarter 3, total home sales increased by 5.16% (213 sold in Quarter 2, 224 in Quarter 3)
  • From Quarter 1 to Quarter 3, total home sales increased by 86.67%

 

  • From Quarter 1 to Quarter 2, dollar volume increased by 65.66% ($33,245,180 in Quarter 1, $55,075,255 in Quarter 2)
  • From Quarter 2 to Quarter 3, dollar volume increased by 5.11% ($55,075,255 in Quarter 2, $57,889,875 in Quarter 3)
  • From Quarter 1 to Quarter 3, dollar volume is projected to increase by 74.13%

 

  • From Quarter 1 to Quarter 2, homes spent 18.46% longer time on the market (65 DOM in Quarter 1, 77 DOM in Quarter 2)
  • From Quarter 2 to Quarter 3, homes spent 23.38% shorter time on the market (77 DOM in Quarter 2, 59 DOM in Quarter 3)
  • From Quarter 1 to Quarter 3 homes spent 9.23% shorter time on the market.

 

Summary – Sales and dollar volume continue to grow for townhomes and condominiums. Increased home sales and dollar volume imply more homes on the market at higher prices. They have been going quicker as the year has progressed, suggesting more buyers are jumping into the market. Overall, the market appears to be deepening as more homes are listed and more buyers start their search.

YMCA Community Center Progressing in Bozeman

by Tim Hart

With initial plans being submitted to the City Planning office for a new YMCA community center, it appears the project only needs to secure funding in order to move forward with plans.

The building, designed to be 20,000 square feet, will be approximately a 6 million dollar project, slightly up from March projections of 5.5 Million dollars. In March, the Gallatin Valley YMCA had raised 2.5 million for the project. Now, they have secured $300,000 in additional donations and are 1.2 million short of the 4 million needed to move forward on the project. The 4 million dollars would be used to secure construction financing while also being used to seek grant support from other foundations.

Initially, the YMCA had plans to team up with the City of Bozeman to also include a new aquatics center for West Bozeman residents. However, that plan has been put on hold as city officials have now started work on passing a bond for a new, shared Law and Justice Center for the city and Gallatin County. The community center will be built in a way that will allow an aquatic center to connect at some point in the future.

Bozeman continues to put in the necessary infrastructure as it expands to the west. West end Bozeman residents will be happy to hear that these sort of projects are in the pipeline and will help them keep their travel distances to a minimum in Bozeman.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/fundraising-for-new-bozeman-ymca-center-plugging-away/article_8a464ed9-ca26-58ba-94bb-ece4569c2a22.html

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 39

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