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Downtown Continues to Grow: The 5 East Project

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Do you remember the Black-Olive proposal that originated in 2016 and was later approved in the fall of 2017? How about the One 11 Lofts that were proposed just this year? The developer behind both of these projects, Andy Holloran, has proposed another mid-rise building for the downtown area.

Called 5 East, the proposed six-story, mixed-use building will include 30 condos with space on both the second and third floors for retail and office space. The current proposal for 5 East also includes 29 parking spaces on the ground level, with a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom condos on the top four floors, all ranging from 790 to 1,500 square feet. Located on the corner of Mendenhall and Tracy, the build site currently houses the Straightaway Motors auto shop and several homes, which would be demolished per an agreement with the landowner.

While many downtown residents are still concerned that contemporary buildings will negatively impact Bozeman’s small-town charm and compromise its historic integrity, Holloran states that in order to preserve our open land and agricultural space, we need to further develop our urban core, which includes “building up” instead of “building out”. As it currently is, the proposal includes in the northwest portion of 5 East scaled down to three stories “in order to respect the lower-density housing to the north and provide open space and outdoor amenities for residents”. These amenities include landscaped outdoor terraces, restaurants, and a spa.

5 East is currently set for review by the city planning department. If the plan is approved, construction could begin as early as the beginning of 2019.

 

Current Mid-Rise Development Projects/Proposals

New Boutique Hotel Pays Tribute to Bozeman Architect Fred Willson

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Bozeman we all know and love today would look much different without the influence and design of Bozeman-born architect Frederick Willson.

After spending time in Paris following his graduation from Columbia University, Willson brought the influence of multiple architectural styles back to Bozeman with him, including Mission Revival and Art Deco. Over the next 46 years, he designed hundreds of well-known buildings in Bozeman and other Montana cities, including the Ellen Theatre, the Baxter Hotel, the Emerson Cultural Center, and both MSU’s original Student Union Building and Hamilton Hall. Although Willson died in 1956, his work can still be seen around Bozeman, West Yellowstone and Three Forks today.

Fast forward to 2018— the old National Guard armory building on the corner of Mendenhall and Willson will soon be transformed into the Etha Hotel, an eight-story boutique hotel with 122 rooms and a pool. Bozeman-based Venue Architects have plans to convert the concrete structure into a 17,000 square foot space, which will have enough room for an event area and an American bistro on the ground floor, and a bar or restaurant on the building’s rooftop.

The hotel will retain 98% of the original armory building, which was designed by Willson and constructed in 1941. The new building’s Art Deco style will imitate that of Willson’s previous designs, as elements such as doors and awnings have been taken from sketches of Willson’s that were never included in the armory’s original design. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

The Downtown Improvement Plan: Past, Present, & Future

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Over the last 30 years, various recommendations have been developed to improve downtown Bozeman, including everything from construction of more mixed-use buildings, to decreased parking requirements, to more affordable housing units. While some of these ideas have come to fruition in recent years, others are still on the table discussion. The most recent improvement plan states that all recommendations in the plan are both realistic and attainable, but because some require more analysis than others, they are either partially completed or haven’t been started yet.

While only a small portion of the recommendations presented in the original plan aren’t listed below, a list of ALL of the recommendations can be viewed here.

A few notable recommendations from this plan, which was released in 2009, include the following:

  • Addition of a downtown conference center
  • Construction of a “boutique” hotel
  • Addition of plazas and courtyards
  • Conversion of Babcock and Mendenhall to 2-way streets
  • Encouragement of bicyclist traffic downtown
  • Exposure of Bozeman Creek as a centerpiece of the downtown area
  • Extension of Babcock to connect to Bozeman Public Library

Almost a decade later, a 2018 Progress Report has been released. Here is the current status of the above recommendations:

  • Addition of a downtown conference center (Not Completed)

*However, a substantial amount of meeting space has been designated— American Legion, Baxter Hotel, Element Hotel, Emerson Cultural Center, etc.

  • Construction of a “boutique” hotel (Completed)

*Element Hotel—2015; Lark Hotel—under construction; Etha Hotel—construction to begin in 2018

  • Addition of plazas and courtyards for public use (Partially Completed)

*Element Hotel, 5 West, & Lark Hotel have front patios and rear courtyard spaces

  • Conversion of Babcock and Mendenhall to 2-way streets (Not Completed)

*Extensive traffic analysis for not only Babcock and Mendenhall is required, but also for Main, Lamme, Olive, N. 7th, Willson, Rouse and Wallace before this project can be further considered

  • Encouragement of bicyclist traffic downtown (Partially Completed)

*Four on-street bike parking stalls are available seasonally; Dero Fix-It Station was installed for cyclists to inflate tires and perform minor repairs; bike “sharrows” were added to Babcock & Mendenhall

  • Exposure of Bozeman Creek as a centerpiece of the downtown area (Not Completed)

*Financial constraints— the project will cost $350,000

  • Extension of Babcock to connect to Bozeman Public Library (Not Completed)

*Land needed for the extension is privately owned by Empire Building Materials and currently contains a warehouse. If the property is sold or redeveloped, this recommendation will be revisited.

 

​Downtown Boundary Map

Long-Debated Black-Olive Project Gets Approved By City Commissioners

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

In September of 2016, the Black-Olive project was first presented to Bozeman City Commissioners as a 5-story building that would feature 56 apartments, as well as commercial business space on the ground floor and 37 on-site parking spaces. Many neighboring residents spoke out at both public meetings and on Facebook’s “Save Bozeman” page to express their concerns that the contemporary building would ruin Bozeman’s small-town charm and negatively impact street parking.

On April 11th of this year, this proposal was denied with a 4-1 vote, although it was stated that developer Andy Holloran intended to modify the design and resubmit his proposal for later review. Fast forward to last week— the Black-Olive development was APPROVED after more than a year of discussions, meetings and revised design plans, ironically with a 4-1 vote. The project will include demolition of the two-story building currently located at 202 S. Black Ave.

What Else?

The new design has been modified to feature 66 bedrooms within 47 apartments, while providing 40 parking spaces for those residents.  Although some commissioners and citizens were still against the project, stating that the building was too big and that parking constraints were already an issue, others disagreed. Commissioners I-Ho Pomeroy and Jeff Krauss support the idea of creating more housing opportunities downtown, which would include growth upward instead of outward.

What Now?

Although the project has been approved, Holloran will be required to make minor changes to the building’s top floor to scale back its elevation. After finishing the design to accommodate this amendment and obtaining both a building and demolition permit, Holloran expects to break ground sometime this spring. 

Future Location of Black-Olive Project

Black-Olive Proposal Denied by Bozeman City Commissioners

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The long, drawn out debate over the Black-Olive proposal has finally ended. On April 11th, about 7 months after it was proposed in Sep. 2016, city commissioners decided to nix the proposal after concerns were raised about insufficient parking and blocked views of the surrounding countryside.

Bozeman residents seem to agree with this decision too. A recent poll conducted by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle showed that 65.2 percent of its readers approved of the city’s choice to deny the project.


black-olive proposal public poll

Bozeman Daily Chronicle: “Did Bozeman city leaders make the right choice to deny Black-Olive”

The project’s design was to feature 56 apartments in five stories and a commercial business space on the ground-floor, along with 37 on-site parking spaces.

With the proposed project site located so close to Bozeman’s cherished historic neighborhood south of Main Street, neighboring residents were concerned that the building would ruin “Bozeman’s small-town charm.”  

The major reason why commissioners voted 4-1 to deny the proposal was due to lack of sufficient parking, as all housing projects within Bozeman’s zoning districts require at least one parking space per unit. Neighbors in the vicinity to the Black-Olive project site raised concerns about residents filling up already crowded street parking in front of their homes.

So What Now?

The project’s developer, Andy Holloran, wants to regroup, modify the design, and resubmit the proposal for later review. If the parking issue and building aesthetics can be reworked and are in line with the development guidelines for downtown’s zoning district, the Black-Olive project may be revisited and reconsidered in the near future.

The Black-Olive project may have been scrutinized, but that’s not to say that mid-rise buildings are out of the picture for Bozeman. There are still three mid-rise projects that have either been approved, already built, or are currently under construction, including the SOBO Lofts, Element Hotel, and the 5 West Building.

All Current Mid-Rise Development Projects/Proposals

 

Perhaps this was the right project but for the wrong location, given that we may be seeing a reconfigured proposal again soon!

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Related Articles:

Bozeman's 4th Mid-Rise Building Proposed To Replace An Old Grain Mill

 

What Is Parking Worth In Downtown Bozeman?

 

Another Mid-Rise Building Approved For Bozeman

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