More private sector racing to fill workforce housing need.
Big Sky workforce housing project looks to address critical area worker issues
Noah Schmick Wake Up Montana Dec 9, 2021 Updated Dec 9, 2021
The Lone Mountain Land Company is making fast progress on the first phase of their workforce housing project assembling apartments with 228 beds for workers in Big Sky.
Phase I of the Powder Light workforce housing development is nearing completion after building the foundation six weeks ago, setting up modular units side-by-side and stacked on top of one another less than two weeks ago and creating the first complex off Lone Mountain Trail of what will be workforce housing for area workers beginning the summer of 2022.
“Employee housing is a critical need for Big Sky especially since COVID, more than half of the housing stock in Big Sky got consumed by second homeowners and we lost a lot of the long-term rentals for year-round employees,” Lone Mountain Land Company Planning & Development Vice President Bayard Dominick said.
According to the most recent Big Sky Multiple Listing Service local market update for the greater Big Sky market, the area has seen a giant decrease in the inventory of condos and townhomes for sale and an increase in both average and median sales prices.
Dominick estimated that around 80% of the Big Sky workforce chooses to commute an hour through Gallatin Canyon from the greater Bozeman area every workday because prices are cheaper.
The entire project will be deed restricted exclusively for local full-time Big Sky workers and will be available to the broader Big Sky community, but short-term vacation rental will be prohibited.
“This is one of our first projects that will help to address that need but our goal is to build 3-to-4,000 beds over the next three to five years,” Dominick said.Phase II of the Powder Light development will include a second building on site and provide an additional 224 beds for local workers.
Since 2017, Lone Mountain Land Company has developed 78 long-term rental units (120 beds) in Big Sky Town Center. These range from studio apartments to five-bedroom townhomes and are currently 100% leased to a combination of local families, local businesses (who utilize the housing for employees), and couples or roommates who work locally.Lone Mountain Land Company has several affordable workforce housing developments under construction, in planning stages or have been completed.Dominick said modular units of wood, steel and insulation were used to speed up build time and save on construction costs by protecting materials from outside weather during construction.
When the Powder Light complex is finished, amenities will include a fitness room, parking and bike storage, a creekside walking trail, food truck parking and Skyline bus stop.
The entire project is $17 million and Lone Mountain Land Company is also investing $1.7 million for road improvements to Highway 64 needed to facilitate the workforce housing along with a $10.3 million TIGER Grant from the county in 2019 to add turn lanes which have yet to start construction.You can find more information about Lone Mountain Land Company and their workforce housing projects here.