BOZEMAN, Mont. — Tuesday night, the Bozeman City Commission approved subsidizing a housing project worth about $2.2 million.
The 9TEN development in Bozeman’s midtown will permanently offer 20% of its units at an affordable price for the area’s workforce. The development will also contribute to extending or improving certain infrastructure, like water lines, stormwater and streets.
The project will initially pay for these costs, but the city will eventually reimburse the developer through the city’s urban renewal project fund, which is funded by taxpayers.
“It’s the first time we’ve been able to strategically use urban renewable dollars to get very significant affordable housing built within the district, also just within the city of Bozeman for a broader community benefit,” Bozeman economic development specialist David Fine said. “This is the largest project with for sale occupied units that we’ve ever participated with the city, to our knowledge.”
The $2.2 million that will be reimbursed to the developer includes about $635,000 for city impact fees, $105,000 for cash in lieu of parkland, $32,000 for fiber-optic conduit and $1.4 million for public infrastructure improvements.
Bozeman’s Midtown Action Plan is to invest in public infrastructure that helps make certain projects possible by “removing barriers to development through strategic infrastructure investments and incentives.” The city’s Midtown TIF Assistance Project prioritizes using tax dollars from its taxable increment financing for affordable housing projects. The TIF dollars can be used to aid developers of affordable housing in public infrastructure, impact fee and demolition of structures.
The two buildings on North Seventh Avenue and North Eighth Avenue will consist of 100 condos, and 90 of them will initially be sold below market value. The project will improve the bordering West Aspen Street up to city standards and expand Bozeman’s fiber-optic conduit system.
“I think our new motto should be no subsidies, no affordable housing -- it’s true,” Bozeman Mayor Cyndy Andrus said. “I think the legislature needs to hear that, and I think this is a very shining example of what we can get through this TIF program. So I commend the staff, the developer, for really working on this and bringing us a product that is really needed in our community.”