BOZEMAN – Nearly 10 years after a natural gas explosion leveled five buildings in downtown Bozeman, developers will build the Osborne Building in the last vacant lot.
In 2009, the explosion damaged even more buildings than the five destroyed — and left one person dead. Since then all lots except one have been filled, and soon the last piece to the puzzle will be filled in.
Developers Bryan Klein, Casey Durham, Chad Bottcher, and Jamie Bottcher say they plan to build a 33,000 square foot building with a restaurant and office buildings for non-profit and small businesses.
“It’s very nice, we have been working with folks for a long time to see that area come back and we are very pleased to see new construction coming up and filling in these holes,” said Bozeman Community Development Manager Chris Saunders.
The developers ran into financial problems as they planned to build on the vacant lot, but with the help of First Security Bank and MoFi — a non-profit that helps developers use new market tax credits — the project was able to move forward.
“So this building is gonna be very much a part of the downtown community that is very clearly needed,” said MoFi President Dave Glaser. “They have a brighter future than they otherwise would have, had we not shown up with new market tax credits and had incredible developer partners and business partners to make these projects a reality.”
MoFi has helped fund other business in Montana like the new Missoula Food Bank, the Copper King Hotel in Butte, and the Great Falls Rescue Mission’s Cameron Family Center.
The developers plan on starting construction on the building by the end of September.
Reporting by Mederios Babb for MTN News