The Downtown Improvement Plan: Past, Present, & Future
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