88 residential units coming downtown

Thanks to City Council’s 3rd TIF assistance approval this year alone

2022 has been a productive year for downtown development projects. To date, Billings City Council has approved three mixed-use developments that will produce 88 residential units and a handful of commercial spaces. The increase of residential units in the downtown core is much needed as supply of urban living options are scarce. Naturally, residents become employees and economic boosters to the community. The added presence of residents will bring with it more buy-in from investors, , developers, and businesses to the downtown neighborhood. The more investment that is focused on downtown, the more security measures, beautification efforts, and activations of spaces will occur. The result of which increases the visitation of the area, which ultimately further contributes to positioning downtown as a thriving asset for the Billings community as a whole.

the three upcoming mixed-use developments downtown

On Monday, September 12, 2022 the City of Billings’ Mayor & Council unanimously approved TIF assistance for a multi-use development on one of the last underdeveloped buildings on downtown Billings Historic Montana Avenue.

The Old Billings Hardware Building located at 2802 Montana Avenue will be redeveloped by High Plains Architects to include a variety of commercial spaces mixed with loft-style apartments. The property is an existing historic building and was originally built between 1908 and 1909 when Downtown Billings was experiencing rapid growth due to the expansion of the railroad. The building’s prime location presents the opportunity to preserve the density of Downtown Billings while boosting the vitality and longevity of the city core. Presently, the vacant building sits among a walkable network of businesses, restaurants, parks, entertainment venues, and residential units that will be further strengthened with the redevelopment of the building.

Billings Hardware thrived as a business in this building until the property was sold to Scheels Hardware in 1957. Westwood Inc. Appliances moved in during the 1980s and Colburn School Supply was the last tenant in the 1990s before it became vacant. The property owners intend to activate the lower and ground levels with business activity while the second and third levels would house 24 market-rate energy efficient residential units. Council approved a reimbursement of $745,000 to go towards eligible infrastructure and façade expenses. The dollars are disbursed over five years, following the year in which the project is completed. The owners and developers are also pursuing the placement of the building on the National Register and plan to obtain LEED certification

In July of 2022, Billings City Council also approved a reimbursement of $250,000 towards infrastructure and façade improvements on 2520 1st Ave N, which will be known as the Lincoln Apartments. The award will be paid in a similar manner over the course of five consecutive years following the year the project is completed. The building will have 28 market-rate residential units with retail presence on the northwest corner of the property. 

The first TIF project approved of 2022 happened back in February when Billings City Council approved a reimbursement of almost $1.7M towards a brand new construction of a tower that will house 36 market-rate residential units with a retail presence on the northeast corner of the building.