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Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Booming Bozeman – Development, building pick up page as economic recovery continues

Commercial is picking up in Bozeman to accommodate the new subdivisions and neighborhoods that are expanding to the west of N 19th.  Huffine to Four Corners will experience a huge amount of commercial growth over the coming years – including new restaurants, service stations and other smaller businesses.  This article is an interesting one, from the Sunday Money section.


The smell of development and commercial progress mixed with pine, juniper and oak pollen Thursday as contractors broke ground on another building site on Bozeman’s west side.

The building is going in south of Rosauers between Huffine Lane and West Garfield Street and will host Muse Salon. The salon is a tweak of the classic salon model, said Jane Wilson, who is launching the business with her husband, Michael.

The 4,900-square-foot building will hold 22 individual spaces available for weekly lease by health and beauty professionals. The Wilsons manage the building and overall salon — including the individual space leases, utilities, on-site laundry and common areas — allowing the professionals to focus less on business aspects and more on practicing their craft, Wilson explained.

The building is one of a handful slated for construction in the coming months in the Bozeman Gateway development, which stretches from the Kohl’s building to South Fowler Avenue. The buildings going up aren’t speculative either. Most have tenants lined up already, said Ted Mitchell, whose company, Mitchell Development Group, is building the area out.

“There’s a lot of energy in this space,” Wilson said. “That was really important for us.”

West of City Brew and Qdoba Mexican Grill is the building within Bozeman Gateway closest to completion. Mitchell said Verizon Wireless is moving into a space of about 4,200 square feet on the first floor. The remaining roughly 5,500 square feet is shaping up to be a restaurant location. Mitchell added that half the second floor’s office space is already under lease.

A second building to the west of that is set to begin construction shortly, Mitchell said. The main floor of that building is angled toward retail and restaurant businesses, while following the pattern of second floor office space.

“(To) be honest with you, in our performance I didn’t plan on leasing any of that out for five years and here it’s over half leased,” he said. “It’s amazing. It blows my mind.”

The attraction to business owners is partially the promise of foot traffic brought on by the steady development in that area, but also the steady westward growth of Bozeman.

More people living west of 19th Avenue with comparatively few nearby restaurants is what attracted Fei Zhang and her husband, Jian, to decide to open a second Sweet Chili Asian Bistro location near Rosauers. Zhang said the decision of whether to expand beyond their downtown location has percolated over the past two years. Mitchell’s development offered an opportunity she and her husband couldn’t pass up.

Zhang said the second location will feature a similar menu to the downtown location, but one focused more on moderately priced grab-and-go lunches and dinners. She described her vision for the restaurant as a healthier fast-casual restaurant angled toward fresher ingredients. She expects the restaurant to open in the late fall.

A Firehouse Subs franchise is planned to go into the development as well, local franchisee Joe Cobb confirmed. The restaurant also falls in the fast-casual realm, though its specialty lies in toasted sandwiches.

The health and beauty professionals Wilson plans to lease space to in Muse Salon are established in town and have their own clientele. But the foot traffic brought in by the growing development and the neighborhoods spilling out toward Four Corners and Belgrade made the location ideal, Wilson said. Her research showed that businesses following a similar model had the most success in shopping centers. She hopes to open Muse in late fall.

“It’s a good connection between Bozeman and Four Corners and Belgrade. It’s really nice to be centrally located,” Wilson said. “We did look at a couple of spaces to lease but ultimately the locations didn’t work out.”

Meanwhile on the north side of town just before the railroad tracks cross Rouse Avenue and under Interstate 90, another similarly visible development is steadily moving forward.

The Cannery District recently had a zoning issue resolved by the Bozeman City Commission. Barry Brown, one of the district’s developers, said he’s closing in on securing permits from Gallatin County because part of the property between Daily Coffee and 406 Brewery was never annexed by the city.

“Then that’s a fairly short process. We hope to be beginning the rehab on the cannery tower in the fall for occupancy in the spring,” he said.

The four-story tower has tenants for the top two floors under letters of intent, though he declined to identify the companies beyond stating that they’re in the technology industry. Brown said the second floor is slated for office space and the ground floor is planned for a restaurant and smaller office or retail space.

Plans for the district also call for two to three buildings along East Oak Street. Brown said he’s in talks with a handful of physician groups about potentially moving into some of the buildings.

“Bozeman seems to be on a little bit of a run here,” Brown said. “We’re excited about the timing of the economic recovery and Bozeman’s economic growth and the Cannery District all coming along at the same time.”

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