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New Home Construction Rising

by Tim Hart

I read an interesting article today on new construction for July. More and more people are putting their faith in the housing market. Here’s what I took out of it.

 

New home construction continued to rise in July which should continue to boost the economy in the coming months. Housing start ups climbed 16% last month to an annual rate of 1.093 million units, showing a renewed faith in the housing market. July levels hit the highest level of construction since November. Construction on new apartments has seen the greatest increase in the US. Total home construction rose 22% all the way up through July, and building permit applications.

 

http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post--us-housing-starts-up-sharply-in-july

Gallatin County Economy Continues to Thrive

by Tim Hart

Despite the fact that Montana’s economic growth rate has slowed in recent years, Gallatin County continues to maintain high economic growth. The county’s growth was driven by wages earned in the construction, manufacturing and service industries. From 2012 to 2013, the county added 2,500 jobs. That number was more than double any other county in Montana. Unfortunately, the amount of wages brought in was proportionally low at 28 million. Experts believe the low numbers simply reflect the generally lower wages that are given to these three sectors. But, the growth in the county still dwarfed the growth in any other Montana county.

For real estate, Gallatin County continued to look strong, coming in second for the most new housing startups. Gallatin County has plenty of potential for continued growth in this sector, as this data still only reaches to 76% of the pre-recession peak.

Source: Bacaj, Jason. “Gallatin economy growing, state slowing.” Bozeman Daily Chronicle. 6 August 2014.

Bozeman Education Taxes to Dip Slightly

by Tim Hart

New construction, continued growth in Bozeman and a larger tax base have allowed the City of Bozeman to lower property tax rates, but still spend more money on education. The Department of Revenue reported that the elementary district has grown by 2.74% while the high school district grew by 2.97%. These numbers reflect the positive growth in Bozeman over the last couple of years, as both construction and real estate seem to have fully recovered from recession. With a larger tax base, Bozemanites can expect to see lower property taxes, yet the schools should be able to hire up to 12 more teachers or counselors for this coming fall semester. The education budget has asked for 70.4 million to spend this year, which is up 1.8% from previous years. As more and more people move to Bozeman looking to raise families in the right schools, Bozeman schools have continued to shine. They have shined so much so that they continue to attract more families, bringing in more money to improve schools, which again attracts more families. Hopefully, this positive trend continues, and Bozeman can help foster the next generation of smarter, more creative leaders.

Bozeman has set up plans to add a 4 bay Tesla recharge station at the local Hilton. Tesla wants all of its drivers to be able to travel across the United States for free, a daring goal, considering rising gasoline prices. Tesla is building stations across major roads in the US and Bozeman seems to have fit the bill. Billings also added a Tesla station about a week ago. These super chargers can recharge a Tesla Model S in 20 minutes compared to an hour from a normal outlet.

Plans have been handed over to the city-planning department and they are waiting for approval. By adding the station, Bozeman can attract a wider variety of people into the city. Tesla owners crossing the country would have to go to Bozeman or Billings (if not both) if they wanted to go through Montana. And for local Bozemanites, owning a fully electric car has become much more feasible. Anyone looking to move to Bozeman now has fully electric alternatives to gasoline.

City of Bozeman Buys Land for Future Sports Complex

by Tim Hart

The City of Bozeman finalized the purchase of an 80-acre piece of land to build a new sports complex. They paid 2 million dollars for the land and will spend 7.5 million dollars in total to build the necessary infrastructure for such a complex. Bozeman plans on building 10 or 11 fields on 40 acres for the first stage of the project, followed by 7 or 8 more fields in the second phase. If private donors are able to raise enough money from private donations, then one of these fields would be turned into a turf field. The sports complex will cost half of the Park and Recreation Department’s budget, the most bond money given to any project like it. The sports complex will be in the same area as an aquatics center that has also been approved. The city will also improve the nearby roads to deal with future traffic, widening both Baxter Lane and Flanders Mill Road. Local residents can now look forward to a new place to pass the football, shoot hoops, or throw a Frisbee.

Gallatin County Fair Sees Huge Attendance Spike

by Tim Hart

This year’s Gallatin County Fair saw a large attendance spike compared to last year. The fair saw a 64 percent increase in tickets sold compared to 2013. Such a large percentage increase could be influenced by a variety of factors. Weather, obviously, can drastically affect the crowd turnout, as well as new exciting acts coming to town with the fair. But these factors cannot account for such a large increase. Perhaps the growth of Bozeman has increased the population the fair can draw from. Other events have also seen an increase in popularity in the last few years, including Sweet Pea and Music on Main. Bozemanites continue to show great pride in their local culture and events, and they seem to come to community-building events in stronger numbers every year.

In early June, the Bozeman City commission approved plans to partner with the YMCA to build a new aquatics center in Bozeman. The YMCA plans to build the land at Vaquero Parkway, a piece of land they already own. City commissioners approved the partnership, voting 3-2 in favor. The city also had the choice of either building the aquatics center at Rose Park with the YMCA, or without them, but instead chose to partner with them and build it near Regional Park. Regional park also provides locals with amazing opportunities such as the Dinosaur Park, two ponds, a beach and other facilities. The new aquatic center will only add to the fun and utility of this Bozeman park.

Residential building permits and rising utility connections continue to suggest rapid growth in Bozeman. From 2008 until 2013, Bozeman dealt with around 200 residential building permits per year. In 2014, the City of Bozeman Department of Community Development expects more than 1,000 permits to be given. Other than last year, the last time residential building permits reached more than 1,000 permitted buildings in a year was 2005.

Bozeman is also beating other Montana cities for new electric and gas connections. As of early June, Bozeman had 375 new electronic connections and 175 new gas connections. Billings paled in comparison, despite having the second highest number of new electronic connections with 100. To put the growth in perspective, compared to a high growth year in 2013, Bozeman has still doubled its average new electric connections per year in 2014.

 

Developers in Bozeman are looking to renovate the Cannery District, an industrial sector to the Northeast of town. Given its name from the old pea cannery that did business there in the early 1900’s, the district had been used almost solely for industrial use. Now, the developers of the area are looking to create a new hub of commercial activity. Plans include renovating the older buildings while also constructing 7 new buildings. Owners will be looking to strip the old buildings down to the bone, in order to get them back to their roots. They will also make the buildings more energy efficient, without losing the historical significance of the district. By project’s finish, the district should have 15 buildings in total that would cost roughly 15 million dollars. Tenants have already been secured for many of the new buildings. Even now, coffee shops, breweries and restaurants have already moved into the district.

Petra Academy Expands School, Will Cost 2 Million

by Tim Hart

Petra Academy, Bozeman’s second largest private school, plans to continue growing in the next year. Petra will break ground on a 2 million dollar classroom expansion that should be finished before fall of 2015. They plan on adding 8,600 square feet to the building, including 8 additional classrooms. Petra, who offers a Christian/Classical education to its students, has always limited its classroom size to 16, and had been forced to turn away students in previous years. Currently teaching 170 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, the expansion should ease this ongoing issue. With more and more young families looking to move to Bozeman, most of the expansions are aimed at Petra’s youngest students. The renovation will almost double the elementary wing of the school.  Expansions like the one at Petra, should offer more than enough room for new Bozemanites looking for the right school for their children.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 12