Bozeman's Growth Over The Next 50 Years - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Bozeman's Growth Over The Next 50 Years

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BOZEMAN - The Montana Department of Commerce reports Gallatin County's population is expected to hit 100,000 people in 2017, a 7.3 percent increase.

Currently, the city of Bozeman makes up near 40,000 of Gallatin County's population. A study done by the Sonora Institute which studies the development of the west shows that by 2050, the population of Bozeman could be up to 91,000 people.

In the last couple of months, four new subdivisions were approved by city commissioners and development started. Most of the houses will be single-family homes. Economic Developer Brit Fonenot said the number of permits the city approved has increased over the last several months.

"We've already arrived at the number of permits that we had in all of last year," said Fonenot.

Fonenot said many people come to Bozeman for the quality of life.

"It's the quality-of-life issues that are so important to the people that are coming back to Bozeman," said Fonenot. "We need to keep people here by providing them with the types of jobs that they need to raise a family and participate in the local economy."

The Block M project is another major development project currently built in city limits.
The 20, three-story duplexes will be located just north of Main Street on a one-acre block bordered by East Lame Street, North Black Avenue, East Beall Street and North Tracy Avenue.

Bozeman Planning Manager Chris Saunders said a variety of housing developments puts Bozeman in a healthy economic situation.

"It is a healthy indicator that we're starting to see town homes, attached homes and apartments coming back through the construction process," said Saunders. "This shows that there's a depth of interest in the market to bring new materials into the marketplace."

A study done by the Sonora Institute shows buyers want to live in areas like Bozeman where they can walk to their destinations.

"In Bozeman people are willing to spend up to 20 percent more to purchase a house that is in a walkable neighborhood that's close to other destinations and amenities," said John Lavey, Sonora Institute Land Use Planner.

The recession hit Bozeman in 2008, but since then Saunders said Bozeman has turned around.

"Bozeman held a much stronger position throughout the recession than many other communities," said Saunders. "Before the recession we we're seeing a huge amount of construction of attached housing almost 75 percent rate which included town homes and apartments. During the recession, that switched it probably became 75 percent or more detached home. Now we're getting back to somewhere in the middle."

Saunders said even in the lowest housing development year there were still about 150 homes built in Bozeman. By 2050, the Sonora Institute estimates that about 28,000 new homes could be built in the city.

For more information on the county's expected growth, click here.

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