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Belgrade Montana to Expand High School

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Belgrade, Montana voters passed a 25-million dollar bond to expand Belgrade High School. The bond passed with a  59 to 41 percent margin. The money will be used to remodel and expand Belgrade High School. Belgrade, like Bozeman, has seen a major population increase in the past decade and will need to continue passing bonds like this one to keep up with the rapidly expanding region.

Some parts of Belgrade High School were built in the 1960’s. School officials will focus on remodeling the culinary kitchen, updating science labs, art rooms, tech centers and increasing classroom spaces throughout the school. Belgrade will also add a new gym with the funds.

Belgrade schools do not believe a second high school (an expansion Bozeman has been seriously considering) will be needed for at least 15 more years with the current expansion plans. Belgrade expansion plans should be done by Fall of 2019.

Voters also approved a $101,374 tax increase for the annual costs of running Belgrade High School.

 

 

Sources: http://www.abcfoxmontana.com/story/31894894/bozeman-looks-to-add-high-school-belgrade-looks-to-expand

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/voters-ok-school-levies-belgrade-high-million-expansion/article_8aac5c6f-f6a4-51b1-8709-7410b6f5ec77.html

NASA Awards Funding to 4 Bozeman Businesses

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

NASA offered funding to four businesses in Bozeman, Montana. The companies have been contracted to research and commercialize technology that can support future space missions.

ADvR, Bridger Photonics, Global Technology Enterprises and Resonon all received six month contracts up to $125,000. Their proposals included new laser technologies, tools to increase head conduction and instruments that better measure the Moon’s effect on Earth. Bozeman’s laser technology already has a great pedigree and has lead to a portion of the technological growth in the area. Having businesses win such awards might lead to future expansions and more jobs, all  of which affect Bozeman’s booming real estate market.

Of the 1,000 applications received, only 341 proposals were selected by NASA. Having four proposals awarded to a small town in Montana was another great step for Bozeman’s economic growth.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/economy/bozeman-companies-win-nasa-funding/article_12a65d02-e577-54fd-bd64-9fdd36da6b73.html

Bozeman Floodplain Maps Redrawn

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The City of Bozeman and the Gallatin County have prepared an updated floodplain map for the greater Bozeman area. The current map was produced almost 30 years ago, so county and city planners want to remap flood areas surrounding Bozeman Creek and the West Gallatin River. County planners want to make sure that all homes in the area are properly prepared for a potential flood and would have the proper insurance in place.

As many riverside residents might be able to tell you, many homes along Bozeman Creek require flood insurance. The new draft will add about 140 additional buildings to the floodplain while removing 108 other buildings. Homes that have been added to the floodplain could see additional costs like flood insurance get added to their bills. Having a home in the floodplain could also affect the property’s value. Currently, the new floodplain map is only a draft. Officials want to have it finalized in the next 2 years.

Safety is always the paramount goal when City Officials look to update or renovate real estate regulations. Updating Bozeman’s floodplain map will help validate that all Bozemanites are living in safe homes and that no one is risking house and home for a closer river lot.

 

Source: http://www.abcfoxmontana.com/story/31642274/bozeman-redraws-flood-maps-could-cost-property-owners

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/bozeman-gallatin-co-work-on-floodplain-map-update/38887916

 

Gallatin County Multi-Family Home Sales: May Real Estate Market Report

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

This month, we will compare condo and townhome sales in the Gallatin County for Quarter 1 of 2016 to condo and townhome sales in Q1 2015. Here are a few stats:

  • Multi-family home sales increased by 15.83% (120 sold in 2015, 139 sold in 2016)
  • Dollar Volume increased by 5.96% ($33,245,180 in Quarter 1, 2015; $35,227,688 in Quarter 1, 2016)
  • Median sale price increased by 12.89% ($194,000 in 2015, $219,000 in 2016)
  • Multi-family homes spent 44.62% longer time on the market in 2016 (65 Days on market 2015, 94 Days on market in 2016)

Summary: Multi-family home sales continue to increase. As more multi-family properties sell, they are also selling at higher prices. The trend suggests that multi-family homes will continue to see value appreciation in 2016. It should be noted that they have spent more time on the market in exchange for higher listing prices. Feel free to look at Q1 2015 numbers compared to Q1 2014 to see an even bigger picture. The Gallatin County real estate market continues to grow and values continue to rise.

Bozeman Updates Zoning for Midtown Revitalization

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Bozeman City Commission approved updates to Bozeman’s Midtown in the hopes of sparking redevelopment and increased activity to the area. Most local Bozemanites will know Midtown as commercial district on North 7th Avenue or as the North 7th Corridor.

Commissioners will use two new zoning designations: R-5, or Residential High Density Mixed District; and B-2M, or Community Business Mixed District. The new designations will allow property owners on North 7th to build denser, higher buildings that can mix both residential and commercial aspects.

Commissioners believe the zoning change will help foster investment in taller, walk friendly, urban style projects. Many expect a “commercial ground floor” so to speak, with apartments and condos on any additional stories.

The zoning changes will help eliminate the sprawl at Bozeman’s edges while increasing the concentration of customers who could both shop at Midtown and Downtown. A new business, The Midtown Tavern, has already started construction on 7th Avenue. Street workers will work with business owners to replace lights and expand the space between the walkways and streets in the next three years.

Bozeman continues to grow. But as it grows, it is nice to see the city focus on revitalizing and redeveloping areas within Bozeman, maintaining the overall quality that continues to attract people to this lovely neck of the woods.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-adopts-denser-midtown-zoning-in-hopes-of-spurring-redevelopment/article_b470078f-0042-5492-801a-c2c80bc50564.html

http://www.kbzk.com/story/31700528/zoning-changes-approved-for-midtown-district

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Bozeman-business-owner-rallies-behind-Midtown-revitalization/38977106

 

RECENT UPDATE 5/3/16: A few blocks of a neighborhood bordering Midtown will be up for rezoning consideration. Mayor Carson Taylor, previously siding with removing several areas from a rezoning proposal, wants more time to consider all available options. The area south of Lamme Street, running along 8th Avenue was designated R-5, promoting small scale businesses and walkable neighborhoods. Currently, the area is zoned R-4, which normally leads to apartment style construction. The city will now reconsider between zoning the area R-4 or R-5.

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-commission-to-reconsider-portion-of-north-th-zoning-decision/article_e0250268-72d6-5ef5-81f8-c8c975bcbeba.html

Montana State helps Bozeman Update Historic Home List

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Montana State University architecture students helped survey Bozeman’s historic district and Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District, inputting and updating the city’s historic homes in the area.  Students looked at over 500 homes and structures nearby campus and then logged their findings to help Bozeman determine what changes, if any, they will make to Bozeman’s historic district regulations.

Currently, the historic district and the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District both require residents to file for certificates of appropriateness when renovating their home, particularly its exterior. Rising home prices, a booming economy and bureaucratic slow down have lead City Commissioners to OK plans to revise the regulations.

In order for Bozeman officials to improve its historic districts, they first needed to update Bozeman’s inventory of historic homes (a list that had not been updated since 1984) to better understand the full scope of the district. Budget constraints had limited Bozeman’s ability to complete the survey, but with the help of Montana State University, the list will be updated in a relatively short time. 

In early April, MSU students worked in pairs to gather basic architectural characteristics of downtown homes to determine their historical significance. The project helped these students become familiar with popular Bozeman home styles while completing some much needed busy work for Bozeman.  By logging their findings into Bozeman’s historic home database, MSU and the city hope to eventually log every historic home in Bozeman’s historic districts. Montana State University plans to repeat the project until all the homes have been logged into Bozeman’s database.

 

Source: http://www.montana.edu/news/16076/msu-architecture-students-and-faculty-assist-city-of-bozeman-by-surveying-hundreds-of-downtown-homes

Northwestern Energy and Bozeman Green Light Solar Project

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Bozeman will begin providing solar power to residents on the grid, thanks to an agreement between the city, Northwestern Energy and a local solar panel company in Bozeman. Ideally, the project will help pave the way for additional solar projects, helping lower utility costs in Bozeman for all residents.

Bozeman will donate land along Frontage Road between Bozeman and Belgrade for the new solar project. Northwestern Energy will invest up to $1 Million for the project, which they will use to research the advantages and pitfalls of potential future projects. As the project is primarily research based, Northwestern customers will not see any increases to their bills.

The project will create approximately 1,000 kilowatts of energy a year, or enough to power 12 homes for an entire year. Whether the costs associated with harnessing solar power pay off the later benefits will be determined by Northwestern over the next few years.

The project is to be installed in June 2016 and should be operational by October 2016.

 

Source: http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/northwestern-teams-up-with-bozeman-for-solar-project/39094588

Bozeman Schools Look Into Additional High School Expansion Plan

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Bozeman School District has delayed a vote to narrow Bozeman High’s expansion plan in light of a new hybrid plan raised in late March. Officials had been wrestling between two high school expansion plans, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. The third plan, if accepted, would try to lower the drawbacks seen in previous plans.

Bozeman had been debating two expansion plans. In the first idea, Bozeman would build a new, fully separated high school. The new school would operate as a separate entity from BHS. This expansion plan would follow the model set by towns in Montana who already have two to three high schools (i.e. Missoula, Helena, Billings etc.). A new highschool would cost the most money to build but would lead to less renovations and expansions in the future. Funding the two high schools would become the biggest drawback going forward, as both schools would then be expected to field separate athletic teams, music groups and clubs. Operating costs for new administration, librarians, custodians etc. would cost $1.5 million alone. Many residents worry that optional classes like Advanced Placement Coursework, art and foreign languages would be narrowed if funding became an issue.  

In the second idea, the school district would build a new building for Freshman only. The building would house up to 800 students and would be designed to be expanded later down the line. This plan would keep all students under the Bozeman High School umbrella. Although more classes could be offered in comparison to idea one, idea two will make athletics and music highly competitive and therefore would be offered based on merit, instead of being an open activity.

In late March, officials came up with a third idea to try and negotiate between the drawbacks of the first two plans. In this hybrid idea, Bozeman would move forward building a new high school. However, the district would shuffle which grades attended which schools, to help make numbers even between Elementary, Middle and High School. Currently, Bozeman High is a 4 year school, housing 2,000 students. The new school, capable of holding 2,200 students, would only take  10th, 11th and 12th graders, leaving plenty of room to grow into the building.

Eighth and ninth graders would then attend Junior High School in the current building. Chief Joseph and Sacajawea would take 5th through 7th graders (currently taking 6th through 8th) while elementary schools would take Kindergarten through 4th graders (currently Kindergarten through 5th grade.) By redistributing the students, both high schools would be left with plenty of room to expand.

In light of the new idea, as well as the impending bond vote on the new Law and Justice Center in Bozeman in November, officials will not put the bond before voters until May 2017. Which plan they put in front of voters will in be determined in May.

 

 

Source: http://www.kbzk.com/story/31594431/new-idea-on-the-table-for-bozeman-high-expansion

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/decision-delayed-to-check-out-new-plan-for-bozeman-high/article_46b8b65e-6c13-5b91-93bb-41bf8e33d332.html

Bozeman to Update Historic District Regulations in Future

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Bozeman City Commission approved a plan to adjust Bozeman’s Historic District Regulations in the future. However, the city will not remove any existing rules until a new system has been put into place.

Since 1991, Bozeman has used a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District, or NCOD, to regulate where and how residents can update historically significant buildings. Because the district represents Bozeman’s approximate boundary in 1957, many buildings have historical significance to the city and contribute character and cultural significance to Bozeman.

However, in the attempt to preserve history, some regulations might be seen as bureaucratic by some. For example, every homeowner within the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District must apply for a certificate of appropriateness before they can alter their home, particularly its exterior. In its current form, the district functions much like a Home Owner’s Association, regulating changes within the neighborhood to keep a consistent culture and feel within a neighborhood.

Last year, Bozeman commissioned a study in April that ultimately recommended that changes would be needed. In the midst of high growth and rising property values, Bozeman wants to break up the large overlay and create more specified districts. City officials believe this will help neighborhoods address their specific problems with less wait and less hassle. Changes might also open the door for additional infill and subdividing, alleviating high home prices by adding more home inventory to the market.

Each neighborhood could also direct growth with better communication from and between officials and residents.  By creating multiple districts, some emphasizing history, others design, regulations will be better tailored to fit the needs of the neighborhood.

The City of Bozeman also announced that it would update Bozeman’s inventory of historic buildings. The list hasn’t been updated since the 1980’s. Some Bozeman residents could see their property values change if their property is labeled as historic.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/commissioners-back-tweaking-bozeman-historic-preservation-regs/article_5cc86b26-77f2-5a89-9c75-00796e2af278.html

Bozeman Book Mobile Ready to Roll

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Bozeman Public Library has officially raised enough money to purchase their Book Mobile, a mobile library designed to bring library amenities to all Bozeman residents.

The library purchased the mobile libray for $320,000. Originally, the library had hoped to raise $600,000 for costs. The library has raised $400,000, with extras going towards an endowment designed to maintain the vehicle. They received a $300,000 dollar donation in mid 2015. However, $600,000 will eventually be needed to stay within budget. The Book mobile will be 40 feet long, come with solar panels and will be handicap accessible. It will also have wi-fi, allowing it to be used for other library programs.

Now, library officials will work on continuing to fundraise while designing the new Book Mobile’s route around Bozeman.

The book mobile will be used to help residents in Bozeman use the amenities provided by the library if they cannot make it to the physical library themselves. Children and the elderly have been highlighted as main segments of the population who might not have full library access. Having a mobile library will help these people get books, information and any help they might need.

 

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/library-foundation-moves-forward-with-bozeman-bookmobile-purchase/article_9e4f2a67-faf5-50b0-ab3f-90ec8c9dff00.html

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 128

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