The VisionNE working group serves as the “eyes and ears” of NENA in terms of developments being proposed in the northeast neighborhood. It endeavors to engage developers early in the planning process (during the concept phase), ecouraging them to present their plans to NENA and seek constructive feedback from the neighborhood. Neighbors can keep track of proposals before the Planning Board by visiting the City's website.
If you would like to volunteer with this working group, please write NENABozeman@gmail.com with "VisionNE" in the subject line. Thank you!
In the summer of 2019, NENA neighbors contributed to a “Photovoices” project highlighting the things they valued about the character and quality of life in the Northeast Neighborhood. More than 80 photos were submitted by NENA residents with captions describing what they wanted to capture about what makes the Northeast Neighborhood unique. Results were put on display in the "PhotoVoicesNE" exhibit at the TinWorks exhibition later that summer.
The major project the group has been working on is to follow through on the 2019 "PhotoVoicesNE" exhibit in an effort to create new neighborhood character guidelines and standards within City code.
Cottonwood + Ida Modifications
Thinktank Design Group Inc. is requesting modifications to the project for from the Planning Department. According to Thinktank: "The changes have reduced the site intensity from 92 residential units to 73. The number of affordable units has remained unchanged, increasing the overall percentage of affordability from 10% of the rental units to 14%. The quantity of commercial uses has remained consistent but has been repositioned to better interface with the common public plaza space.The buildings along Ida Avenue have remained residential though their massing has been scaled down to be more residential in nature and the private alley, “woonerf”-style alley provides direct vehicular access into each of these townhome residences. All provisions have remained compliant with the requested relaxations from the PPUD. The refined character of the buildings aims to improve the project’s sense of place and strengthen its relationship to the neighborhood. The points achieved through the PUD will likely increase from 60 to 65 and the relaxations requested remain the same. The planning department will be mailing out notices of this to the adjacent neighbors."
Read a narrative of the modifications Cottonwood & Ida modifications narrative. Visit the City of Bozeman's website for more documents pertaining to the modifications, including the Public Notice with information on how to comment on the modifications before March 25, 2020.
Thinktank is encouraging neighbors to reach them directly with any questions or just to gather information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-539-1176. Visit bozemanrudat.com/cottonwood-ida-project to see updated concepts.
“Block 3” Concept Design
The Medical Arts Building, including the parking lot west of the building, has been purchased by HomeBase Partners. Andy Holloran, along with Chicago Investment partners WHI Real Estate Partners, plan to redevelop the site with the help of Sera and SMA Architects. NENA efforts to get developers to work with neighbors early on in the design process was taken seriously for this large scale (3 acre) project. In January, the development group hosted a “visioning workshop” on the project, currently called Block 3. NENA was well represented with several neighbors participating.
Participants were asked to envision what the space could become and how it could typify the character of the neighborhood. Ideas were discussed within small groups and then presented to the larger audience. Visions included Affordable Housing (not luxury condos), a downtown gathering spot including public art, affordable food vendors (e.g. food trucks), and a neighborhood grocery store. In terms of general design concepts, participants overall encouraged creating a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood hub with a mix of indoor and outdoor environments, providing space for a variety of activities that would be inviting to all socioeconomic groups. An open design with multiple access points and alleys that maintains mountain views and encourages people to gather was also highly favored, as was providing a service to the community, such as housing a non-profit or community institution. For more details, read the Block 3 Visioning Summary.
It is hoped that this and future meetings will positively influence the project as well as provide transparency and neighborhood participation not seen in more recent downtown projects. The next working group meets March 25th. If you have any thoughts on the project, please email NENABozeman@gmail.com.
Other neighborhood developments
In 2018, VisionNE members met with Andy Holloran of HomeBase Montana to have a conversation about his plans for three new proposed developments in the NE neighborhood: the ONE 11 Lofts (a 5-story, 50-unit building proposed for the corner of Lamme and Willson, across from the old hospital building); The Merin (a four-story building with commercial space on the ground floor and 12 residential units proposed for the lot across N. Bozeman Avenue from Dave’s Sushi); and 5 East (a proposed six-story, mixed-use building on Mendenhall Street, current site of Straightaway Motors auto shop, with 30 residential units, as well as commercial, retail and office space).