BOZEMAN, Mont. - With the go-ahead from the City of Bozeman, developers are moving forward with plans to buy and build on the North Park property.
The roughly 80-acre property is just north of Interstate 90. It's being sold to Micropolitan Enterprises and Powder River Co. for $1.5 million.
The city purchased the land a decade ago, but a developer sued, claiming the city bought it out from under him. A judge agreed and ordered the city to pay $3 million dollars.
On Monday night, the Bozeman City Commission gave the green light to get North Park Property out of city hands, and into a developer's, for a manufacturing business park.
"The property will be a great opportunity for future manufacturing locations," said Erik Nelson, co-owner of Thinktank Design Group, and is working with the two companies that bought the property.
He said building on this space will fill a void in Bozeman's manufacturing sector.
"Companies have not been able to find enough property to locate their facility in the City of Bozeman, and we see this as a grand opportunity to do that," he said.
Williams Plumbing will be the first company on the property, expanding from their current Bozeman facility.
Deputy Mayor Carson Taylor said he's relieved the chunk of land is finally sold, and that they've learned lessons through the process of owning this property.
"One," he said, "don't buy a property without knowing what its real value is."
In total, the City of Bozeman has spent more than $5 million on the North Park property, including a court settlement of $2 million between the city and a local developer.
"Then there was all the litigation, and my lesson from that is let's avoid litigation whenever we can," Taylor said.
Now the city is moving forward. "We move forward by learning from the past and not making the same mistakes," he explained.
Taylor said he is excited for the development.
"We will have a vibrant area where M-2 can occur, where there can be manufacturing and other businesses," Taylor said. "And that will be good for Bozeman."
We're told the developers will begin work as soon as possible and hope to line up other businesses.