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Missoula film company interested in former NorthWestern Energy building in Butte

Posted at 2:20 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 17:50:31-04

BUTTE – Butte leaders are optimistic they might have a serious buyer for the former NorthWestern Energy building on Broadway.

“It’s somebody that wants, that’s excited to be here and excited to use the building,” said Butte Commissioners John Sorich, who sits on the committee to find a buyer for the building.

Bitterroot Gateway Development out of Missoula made a proposal in Butte last week that the large building on 40 East Broadway would be a perfect fit for the film production company Montana Studios.

“They’re excited to do something in Butte, you know, they told us there’s going to be a lot of blue-collar jobs. Filmmaking is blue-collar jobs, there’s a lot work behind the scenes and that’s what we’re looking for,” said Sorich.

There were three proposals submitted to the county, but Sorich said the Montana Studios one was more appealing because they plan to use the entire 100,000 square foot building.

“We’re going to get somebody in there that wants to be in there that’s not just going to come in and tear it apart or do a poor job of developing and walk away from it,” said Sorich.

The county is eager to find a serious buyer for this building, because it comes at considerable expense maintaining this large structure.

“There’s some associated costs with power bills and there’s security and it’s starting to need some work, some TLC because it hasn’t been occupied in two or three years. Butte-Silver Bow isn’t in the business of landlord, you know, we’re in the business of government,” said Sorich.

The Council of Commissioners will decide to what proposal to accept. The developer will present the Montana Studios proposal at the next commissioners meeting on July 24th at 7:30 p.m.

Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News