Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 77

Old Bozeman K- Mart to Be Demolished for New Development

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The building that housed the Kmart in Bozeman will be demolished. Bozeman’s planning office approved a demolition permit this week as city officials continue to try to attract new development, both commercial and residential, in Bozeman’s Midtown district.

Kmart closed in Bozeman in 2014 due to financial struggles from the national brand. The land under the building was rezoned in early May by the Bozeman City Commission in an attempt to spur more business development in the area.

The demolition permit has approved tearing the building down to its concrete slab. Workers will remove the building material and then fence the remaining site until future development occurs. As of yet, no official development plans have been created.

Bozeman’s zoning changes along 7th avenue has already spurred reaction from property owners. A new business will be moving to Midtown, while other property owners are removing buildings with new zoning laws in place. Bozeman’s Midtown will undergo a lot of change in the coming years as the city works on developing and improving the area.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/demolition-permit-approved-for-old-bozeman-kmart/article_a24acaaf-b090-50a6-85d7-f1f072cced18.html

Bozeman Will Pay 7.5 Million to Settle Landfill Suit

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

A settlement has been reached between the City of Bozeman and disgruntled residents in Bridger Creek Phase 3. The lawsuit, filed by 22 property owners in the neighborhood, came in reaction to the discovery of gases leaking into homes from the nearby landfill.

Bozeman City Commissioners approved to settle with the home owners for $7.5 million. The settlement will also wipe any liability from the City of Bozeman, minus a few outstanding lawsuits also affiliated with the landfill leak. Taxpayers will pay $750,000 for the case, while 2.5 million will be paid by Golf Course Partners (developers of nearby Bridger Creek Golf Course) and its engineering firm Morrison and Maierle.

The remainder of the bill will be paid by Bozeman’s insurance. This settlement also allowed a dispute between the City of Bozeman and its insurance holder to end as well.

So far, Bozeman had spent 2.6 million on expenses related to the landfill lawsuit. They plan on spending $300,000 a year to monitor and clean up the area as well. From the City’s perspective, paying $7.5 million up front was a good business decision for Bozeman moving forward.

The neighborhood, constructed in 1996, serves as a reminder to home owners to fully understand any property they wish to purchase. Even if a home owner believes they know everything about their home, unforeseen contingencies may always change a property’s value and safety. Buying a home is complicated—doing the proper due diligence can bring much more peace of mind in real estate.

 

Source: http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Bozeman-City-Commission-approves-Story-Mill-landfill-settlement/39463998

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/m-settlement-proposed-in-bozeman-landfill-lawsuits/article_22f48daa-7b73-501f-856c-53e255796314.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

 

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

New Bozeman Neighborhood: The Lakes at Valley West

by Tim Hart

The final plat of Valley West Subdivision’s final phase was approved on October 5th, allowing development to begin on Bozeman’s west side. The Lakes at Valley West, as the final phase is called, has been under formal review for the past year. Now with approval, it will bring approximately 60 homes and 2 lakes to the already thriving subdivision.

Valley West has been one of the fastest growing and most active subdivisions in Bozeman. The final phase will help provide amenities to the current neighborhood while also increasing home inventory in the Bozeman area.

Bozeman, like the United States overall, has dealt with rising values and a very competitive rental market. Across the nation, builders have been trying to increase home inventory to help alleviate rising home values. With both rental values reaching an all time high as well as rental vacancies reaching an all time low, increasing the number of homes available should help increase competition.

Bozeman has approved additional neighborhoods, apartment complexes and multi-use properties to try to increase local inventory. Bozeman has also looked into trimming lot sizes to make the home building process more affordable. Currently, commissioners have put an inclusionary zoning proposal on hold as well.

 

Source: http://www.ktvq.com/story/30282335/growth-spurt-on-west-side-of-bozeman

 

At the end of September, Bozeman and County Commissioners agreed to hire an architect to design the new law and justice center for the local area. The effort would be a shared joint effort between county and city governments, necessitated from the overall costs of such a project. Hiring an architect shows each government’s resolve to get the project approved and underway in Bozeman.

Both commissions approved unanimously to hire ThinkOne architects to submit building designs by the end of June 2016. Hiring an architect is just the first stage however, as the multi-million dollar construction bond that funds the project will be put up for voter approval in November of 2016.

Due to the high level of uncertainty in Bozeman’s construction market, ThinkOne Architects has been asked to submit 30% of the required design documents by the end of June, which will help calculate the building’s cost for the vote next fall.

Currently, Bozeman holds the honor of being Montana’s safest major town. With Bozeman’s recent growth and economic expansion, it will be important to maintain order moving forward. Having the correct infrastructure in place will allow Bozeman to stay on top of any potential crime and keep Bozeman’s reputation safe and flourishing.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/county/bozeman-gallatin-county-hire-architect-commit-to-joint-cops-and/article_e0e30498-cc83-526a-bc6c-728a2329f128.html

 

 

How Lasers Affect Real Estate

by Tim Hart

This month, I wanted to highlight an investment Bozeman made in 1993 that now seems to have impacted Bozeman’s economic outlook for the better. We never know where our hard work might pay off down the line and how it might change Bozeman’s future.

I read a great article this month by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle about the growth of Optics Technology in Bozeman. The optics industry works with lasers, high tech cameras and other similar technologies to create better products, medicines etc.  In 1993, the first real investment into Optics Technology in Bozeman was made. Local companies, the State of Montana, MSU, and the National Science Foundation teamed up to raise 3 million in optics research in Bozeman. By 1995, MSU had its own Optics Technology Center.

Since then, MSU has had 15 spinoff companies come directly from their programs, whether through new technologies invented on campus or by students who trained at the University and began their own company. According to the Bozeman Chronicle, there are now 30 optics companies in Bozeman, employing some 500 people most of whom earn higher than Bozeman’s average wage. Without the investment made in 1993, it is hard to say whether any of the growth of Optics Technology would have been possible. It is much easier to say that the growth of these local companies have provided an economic boost to Bozeman.

But the best news continues to be that Bozeman has worked hard to reinvest back into the sciences and that similar breakthroughs might be possible in Bozeman’s future.

Both the state government and the National Science Foundation again have offered major grants to MSU for continued scientific development in the area.

The National Science Foundation awarded a 3 million dollar grant to expand the nanotechnology center at MSU. The grant will give MSU the ability to put all of their associated labs in one location. Currently MSU has 5 nanotechnology labs. The money will be distributed over 5 years will also provide funds to upgrade and buy new equipment.

On top of this, MSU received 4.6 million in grants from the State of Montana. In total, MSU scientists have won 8.9 million of the 12.9 million that has been offered this year, with only 2 million dollars left outstanding. MSU worked very hard to achieve the grants they received, putting in 150 of the 200 proposals reviewed by the state. The 4.6 million in grants will go to infectious disease research in both humans and ranch animals, mental health research, energy research and research to better recover metals from wastewater.

Continuing to win grants like these and continuing to pursue them with the veracity seen in 2015 will help keep Bozeman on the forefronts of technological advances. It seems pretty apparent that research like this can drive future economic prosperity. Economic prosperity will help drive more people to Bozeman. So although lasers and nanotechnology feel very far from real estate, they might be closer together than people might initially think.

 

 

Sources: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/economy/optics-research-industry-blossom-in-bozeman/article_249ce589-75a7-5796-a2e7-e6b238fbd155.html

http://www.sunherald.com/2015/09/21/6426247/national-science-foundation-awards.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/msu-scientists-win-million-in-state-research-grants/article_54d210c0-18d8-5adf-a819-0b0880b71988.html

 

 

 

 

Rural Mortgages Get Boost from CFPB

by Tim Hart

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with changes to some current rules, will help buyers in rural areas get financed for home purchases. The CFPB made changes to its rules to increase the number of financial institutions that would be eligible to offer loans in rural areas. To do this, they broadened the definitions for lending as well as expanding the definition of a rural area.

The CFPB has expanded the definition of small creditor, raising the definition from 500 first-lien mortgage loans to 2,000, freeing up additional lenders to make rural loans.

They also expanded the definition of a rural area. They will now include all census blocks that are not in an urban area, whereas before, they had other credentials needed to classify a property as rural.

By broadening both definitions, more lenders will be able to loan and more rural buyers will qualify for financing.  Ideally, this will help entice more buyers into the housing market, further strengthening it as it recovers from the recession.

 

Source: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/09/24/cfpb-makes-rural-mortgages-easier-obtain

 

Commissioners to Address Bozeman Affordable Housing

by Tim Hart

In a great article by Eric Dietrich of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, he outlined the affordable housing proposal that commissioners will consider on September 21st as well as outlining the comments and concerns about the proposal from the two most prominent, opposing parties.

The proposal was made in light of rising values in the for-sale housing market in Bozeman and whether it’s the local government’s responsibility to help keep a certain segment of homes at the affordable level. Currently, there is worry that some residents will need to move to outlying communities to keep their homes affordable. Bozeman has had experts, non profits, builders and anyone else with creative ideas offer their best suggestions to tackle affordability. Ideally, Bozeman commissioners will reach a decision next Tuesday.

The Proposal: Currently, the median income for a resident in Bozeman is $61,800 and can afford a home up to $250,000. However, as of last November, median home prices sat at $287,000.

To help lower the average costs of homes in Bozeman, the city would try to build 14 new affordable single-family homes and townhouses by 2016 with 54 new units by 2017. The city would use inclusionary zoning to get the homes built. Essentially, they would ask builders to build a certain number of affordable homes for every full subdivision, development etc. To entice builders in, the city would help cut down their costs by subsidizing impact fees and reducing lot sizes.

Three quarters of these homes would be priced for residents only making 90% of the median income. That would help a family of three making $55,600 able to afford a home of $213,000.

The last quarter of affordable homes would be built for residents making $49,450 and below, or 80% of the median income. These residents could afford a home of $161,000. 

Currently, builders and home affordability non-profits sit on each side of the debate and both have brought up their own concerns with the proposal.

HRDC: The HRDC is a non-profit, community action agency that has helped build affordable homes across town as well as help residents below median income levels to keep a good quality of life.  The HRDC’s concern with the new proposal is that it does not go far enough. The HRDC would like to see more affordable housing for those making $49,450 or less. They were also disappointed that the proposal does not address issues of affordability in the Bozeman rental market.

Builders: Local area builders are concerned that the new proposal and regulations will require too much financial risk on their part without equal compensation for their sacrifice. Essentially, they would be asked to recoup the lost profits of adding affordable homes to a subdivision through the impact fees and lot sizes. Builders do not believe the profit line makes that feasible.  On top of that, builders are concerned that even if low income buyers were able to buy a home in Bozeman because it had been subsidized, they may not be able to qualify for financing from banks and other insitutions that want to see certain levels of income.  Builders would take on a lot of financial risk without the guarantee that a buyer would be waiting for them.

No matter what the City Commissioners decide, the affordable housing debate will continue in Bozeman. Hopefully, Bozeman will be able to come up with a proposal that would be agreeable to all parties, if not ideal.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-housing-affordability-plan-ready-for-debate/article_9adcef34-ba0b-57b5-8bcc-d79b946062f1.html

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 77

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