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With Bozeman continually growing, it looks slightly different with each passing year. To keep you up-to-date with what’s changing in our town, here are some big projects underway right now in downtown Bozeman.
5 West Project
With much of its structure now built, the construction of the 5 West building is making progress in downtown Bozeman. Its developer, Andy Holloran, expects the building to be ready for occupancy in 2017.
This 5-story building is designed with commercial space on the first floor, office spaces on the second, and condos for the next three stories.
Change of Plans for the Black-Olive Project
The Black-Olive project is planned to replace the old two-story building located on the south-east corner of Black and Olive Avenue with a 5-story apartment building.
Andy Holloran made adjustments to its exterior materials, adding brick facade, corrugated metal, and some wood siding. He says these new materials emulates the style of his Block M townhouses on the north side of town.
Holloran says “It’s a material palette that is recognizable and, I think, comfortable for people.”
This revision also adds a two-bedroom apartment to the building, as well as adjustments to its parking arrangements with a reduction of parking spaces in its parking garage from 38 to 36, while adding the car-sharing spots from 3 to 4.
Holloran and proponents of his project believe that this new look fits better with character of the neighborhood.
With the development of his 5 West and Black-Olive buildings, Holloran hopes to transform downtown Bozeman with these modern, mid-rise buildings.
A 29-room, 4-story expansion of the Lark Hotel is underway. Much of the construction will be done offsite. “Truck-sized sections” will be assembled in Trier, Germany, then staged in Four Corners before brought to the site.
The Lark Hotel partner, Brain Caldwell, calls it “adult Legos.” This expansion is projected to be completed by spring of 2018.
Downtown’s Murals Refresh
The walls of Downtown Bozeman are colored with murals painted by the local school kids of 2012 and 2013. Ellie Staley, member of the Downtown Business Association, says the murals “are starting to show their age.”
Art teacher of Chief Joseph Middle School, Emma Laatch, plans to organize high school art club students to design the new murals, and have younger students paint it. Laatch hopes this project will be done by the next school year.
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Hart Real Estate Solutions—Your Trusted Guides
As housing prices are on the rise, affordable housing in Bozeman is running scarce. Lower class families and individuals are being pushed further out of city limits as these housing options become limited. Countering this issue, the Talbach House project is providing Bozeman with a three-story condo building in a great location of a quickly developing area of the city.
The most appealing aspect of these condos is that their affordable price would not be sacrificing quality. Bitnar Architects have designed these condos with a high-end interior and European-inspired elements, such as large windows. One bedroom units will hold 625-square-feet, starting at $172,000.
Other condos of the same size are priced between $285,000 and $800,000, and the median price of single-family homes in Bozeman last year was $337,000. In this comparison, this Talbach House project is looking like a great deal for affordable housing.
The goal of this building project, stated by the developer of Cadius Partners, is to satisfy the needs of affordable housing for the “growing population of younger people” who are not yet committed to settle down and get married, before moving in to a single-family home.
Being the neighbor of the new Oracle campus, another opportunity is evident to house its growing staff. These condos would be a convenient option for the company’s employees. There are few chances in one’s career to have a walking commute.
The Gallatin County real estate market is still growing strong. According to the Gallatin Association of REALTORS®, both average sales volume and total sale price has shown significant growth through September 2015 to September this year.
The increase in average real estate price from $358,997 last year to $460,957 this year, estimates an astounding 36% housing appreciation. Average sales volume has also seen substantial growth by 30% in this area.
These numbers demonstrate positive implications that the Gallatin area is steadily climbing in the real estate market. As the GAR President stated, “our local market is in strong shape.”
The statistics comparison between September 2016 and 2015 are as follows:
Residential Sales- Average Sales Price
Residential Sales- Total Sales Volume
Statistically, there have been more sales single family homes in Bozeman in 2016 as compared to 2015. This would include every price range up to $700,000. Also to note, the list price to sales price ratio is higher across the board, exceeding 98% in all price ranges under $700,000.
In price ranges above $700,000, 2015 had 65 sales verses 49 sales this year.
New construction sales are also slightly stronger in 2016 than the same period last year, with 110 sales of new homes so far this year.
We continue to see new inventory hit the market and go under contract quickly. If you are thinking about selling, now may be the time to see what your home is worth and plan for winter house projects.
As the outdoors continue to bring more and more people to Bozeman, Montana, the city has put a bit of organization back into nature. One of Bozeman’s biggest attractions is its 80 mile, in and around town trail system. Bozeman continually updates and improves its trails, knowing they are one of the main attractors to local residents. The trail is used by adults, children, runners, walkers and bikers. Whether for exercise or for travel, the trails have become a part of Bozeman’s outdoor culture.
Starting sometime this year, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust and the City of Bozeman will create a new phone application that maps out every mile of Bozeman’s trails. The application will help residents organize runs or discover new trails. The app will also be constantly updated, so residents will know when a trail is closed or under maintenance. Amenities like bathrooms will also be marked on the application, helping Bozemanites plan their hikes and breaks accordingly.
The application was approved in January. Once the application is up and running, it will help locals utilize Bozeman trails even more effectively.
The “M” Trail and the Drinking Horse Trail attract a host of daily hikers, trail runners, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Bridger Canyon Road is also one of the more beautiful and fun biking roads in the area. As the area’s popularity has increased, Bridger Canyon road has seen a lot of pedestrian and recreational traffic.
Currently, only a small shoulder exists for people who want to get to the trail heads without having to drive. Using a previously passed bond, the city will construct a new pathway from Bozeman that will go to both the "M" and Drinking Horse Trails. The pathway will be fully separated from Bridger Canyon Road and is expected to cost $4 million.
The path will be asphalt to allow bikers to also use the path with ease. It will connect into city trails at Story Mill Road and then extend out to both the “M” and Drinking Horse. The city will also look into creating an under path to connect the two trails (on opposite sides of the road) without having to cross Bridger Canyon Road.
The city will need to get 5 homeowners on board to allow room for the pathway.
Bozeman continues to focus on its resident’s safety, while also finding ways to provide access to the outdoors, without the need for a car. Bozeman becomes more convenient to its residents everyday. Its no wonder that more and more people continue to move to the greater Bozeman area.
The vacation rental market in Bozeman has grown quickly over the past couple of years. The presence of online short term rental sites like AirBnB, have made it easier for any property owner to advertise their home to the world. Vacation home sales increased drastically across the US in 2014, partly due to their wonderful return on investment. But as the market has grown, more and more concerns have been raised about the lack of regulations of vacation rentals in Bozeman.
Bozeman has been honored as a top 16 world wide destination and a top ten ski town in the United States. Coupled with Big Sky's summer growth (and very consistent winters of course!) as well as Yellowstone's increasing popularity, it can be easier to find short term renters than in other Montana markets.
While short term rentals have provided Bozemanites with additional revenue potential in their properties, others have grown concerned about the commercialization of neighborhoods and rising rental rates. As more investors opt into the short term rental market, that leaves less home inventory for the long term rental market. Bozeman has had a vacancy rate at or near zero for several years. It has been an owner’s market, with most owners being able to filter rental candidates based on lease terms and rent rates. In general, having even less inventory on the rental market will lead to higher rent rates.
To have a vacation rental in Bozeman, home owners need to have a permit. However, vacation rentals have not been regulated. According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 280 vacation rentals were listed as active on AirBnB. City planning only has 6 registered vacation rentals in the City of Bozeman.
Although vacation rentals only earn about 10 to 15% of their full potential in Bozeman, having a successful one can lead to a wonderful return on investment. A vacation home priced at $250 a night would net earnings at $40,000 plus if it was filled only half the year.
Bozeman Commissioners will explore the vacation rental market and determine if regulations will be necessary. They will discuss the issue on June 27th. Commissioners have had affordable housing on their list of priorities for a couple of years. The vacation rental battle will probably fall into this discussion as commissioners try to find ways to lower the average price of homes for sale as well as homes for rent.
The U.S. Department of Commerce rewards companies across the nation for making a substantial contribution to the expansion of US exports.
The “E” award, created by President John F. Kennedy, is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive from the department.
Simms Fishing Products from Bozeman, Montana received the award in mid-May, showing the company’s growth and its consistency in delivering top quality goods.
The awardees this year contributed $2.23 trillion dollars worth of goods and services in 2015. These companies also provided 11.5 million jobs that were supported by exports.
Bozeman becomes more worldly each and every day. Business is not limited to the valley, to Montana or even the United States. Businesses continue to be attracted to the area for its unique culture and outdoor access. As more and more companies find Bozeman attractive, Bozeman can expect more jobs, more business and of course, more residents and homes in Bozeman.