BOZEMAN — The Bozeman City Commission has unanimously adopted a 95-page master plan to attract businesses to an undeveloped piece of property.
The commission approved the North Park Properties Concept Land Use Plan earlier this month, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/14ocBOR). The site includes city-owned land at Mandeville Farm and adjoining state-owned school trust lands. At 275 acres, it's the largest undeveloped property zoned for industrial use in Bozeman.
"The types of jobs that we want to create are higher-paying jobs that are often associated with high-tech manufacturing companies," said Brit Fontenot, Bozeman's economic development director. "These are the kinds of jobs that pay people enough money to have enough purchasing power to buy homes, and essentially, to expand the city."
The city in 2003 bought 85 acres from the Mandeville family for $3 million. City officials intended to use the land for a solid waste transfer station, but that didn't work out.
The other 190 acres of the property belongs to the state of Montana as school trust lands, acquired in 1889 at statehood. The land generates revenue for public education.
The land is used for farming, with the city getting 25 percent of the value of the farmer's crops. But city officials say farming isn't the land's best use.
The recently approved plan outlines options for the land over the next 20 to 30 years and envisions industrial buildings, retail stores, hotel rooms, offices and recreational space.
"We need a business to say, we want to move there or expand there," Fontenot said. "That is the first domino to fall."
He said the city might offer a deal on the land if the buyer agreed to pay for some roads, water lines and sewer lines. The estimated cost for infrastructure on the first phase is estimated at $5 million.
The recently approved plan cost $50,000 and was paid for with a matching grant from the Montana Department of Commerce. Bozeman and the Department of Natural Resources, which manages the school trust lands, each paid $12,500.