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North Park land in Bozeman under review for private sale

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: May 10 2013 10:33:57 PM MDT
Updated On: May 10 2013 10:46:32 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The North Park Project is a partnership between the City of Bozeman as well as the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

Bozeman's Economic Development Director Brit Fontenot says he and his team of developers have devised a plan to show Bozeman City Commissioners the value of finding a broker to locate a private purchaser that can create commercial use for the 85 acres that the city owns.

North Park is located right off of 7th Avenue and Frontage Road. The area is a highly traveled by residents and folks passing through to get onto Interstate 90.

Fontenot says he can envision commercial use for the property. "High-tech manufacturing, out door industry and optics," said Fontenot.

Fontenot says it would cost the city just about $5 million to begin the first phase of infrastructure to the land. He says right now the city does not have the funds and thinks now is the time to find a buyer.

"It became apparent, perhaps the timing is right to see if the private-sector solutions is the best solution and put the property on the market," said Fontenot.

NBC Montana stopped by real estate and investment firm Delaney and Company in downtown Bozeman.  Michael Delaney is familiar with North Park and says the city should auction off the land.

"They should find an auctioneer and agree to sell the property to the highest bidder in its present condition, as is, where is, how is," said Delaney.

Delaney told NBC Montana the sale of the North Park property will depend on which person will make a large enough offer for the property in its present state -- "Who will pay the city the most money for its current condition," said Delaney.

Fontenot says the sale could benefit Bozeman schools and create more jobs.

"The goal here is to create mid- to high-paying jobs so that when people graduate, they don't have to leave the community," said Fontenot.

He says he would like to see the North Park property sold by the end of the year.

Bozeman City Commissioners will meet Monday night to discuss the plans for North Park and evaluate whether to move forward in finding an agent to market the land.