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Residents weigh in on on rebuilding block of Downtown Bozeman

Published On: Apr 15 2013 06:49:51 PM MDT   Updated On: Apr 15 2013 08:37:58 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

A block of Downtown Bozeman could soon see town homes lining the streets.

Bozeman-based Intrinsik Architecture's planning to build several urban-style dwellings in an aim to increase density in the heart of the city.

"I think it's very modern in it's style, but it's also classic in terms of what it brings to the site," said Bozeman Economic Development Director Brit Fontenot.

The block is known as Block M, the name given to the area when the city was first developed. It's between Black and Tracy Avenues to the east and west, and Lamme and Mendenhall to the north and south.

Currently, a parking lot and houses occupy the land. Fontenot said the plans fit perfectly within the city's goals.

"Density in the Downtown," Fontenot said. "What that does is that brings people to where the commerce is occurring in the heart of the community."

Half of Block M is covered by a parking lot and grass space- but the other half? Three houses dot the land, and those will have to get torn down.

Artist Gabriel Kulka lives in one of those houses. He and one of his roommate run their businesses out of it. Kulka uses the detached garage for building sculptures.

"We still haven't heard anything from them," Kulka said, about the Kenyon Noble, the landowner.

He said they've told him nothing about the plans, and he's worried he'll get kicked out on little notice so the house can get leveled.

"I like working and living here a lot, so I don't relish the idea of trying to find a new space," he said.

Right now, Kulka's plan is to move out of Bozeman in early fall. But if plans move along before that- he's not sure what he'll do.

He said he isn't opposed to the project, but just hopes the residents who currently call this block home can make a smooth transition before the groundbreaking begins.

Fontenot said the plans could go before the Bozeman City Commission for final approval as soon as early June.