A revitalization plan for Belgrade looks to the future.
Belgrade, Montana no longer wants to be known as the bedroom community for Bozeman. An Urban Renewal District was designated in 2017 and the city has an ambitious revitalization plan up for review that will set it apart from Bozeman as its own unique destination area. The Belgrade Downtown Design Plan is currently open for public comment and will go in front of the Belgrade City Council for approval early March.
Here are some exciting takeaways from the Belgrade Downtown Design Plan 2020:
Create a sense of place/arrival
- Belgrade is just 1.2 miles from Bozeman International Airport, which counted 1.57 million visitors in 2019. Better signage that signals a sense of arrival will help attract more of those visitors to Belgrade.
- Downtown will feature an interesting architectural mix that harmoniously melds the city’s industrial railroad history with historic homes/buildings and modern new-builds that combine residential and commercial.
Pedestrian and bike-friendly streets:
- The city would like to encourage walking and biking around the main commerce center. Sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes, curbs and gutters will be upgraded and added to keep the streets inviting, clean and safe.
More gathering/green spaces:
- Connecting parks and green spaces will encourage visitors to move around the town. Benches, bike racks, trash cans and pretty planters will encourage them to stay awhile.
Residents want to be able to stay in Belgrade for all their shopping and entertainment. Some major changes from the design plan that will help spur economic development:
- A parking lot downtown
- A bypass of semis off Main Street
- Updating zoning to make room for higher density, mixed-use projects, while maintaining clear site lines of Belgrade’s historic structures to maximize the sense of place
- Create a railroad quiet zone
- Street configurations that support better traffic flow
Belgrade’s current market
- Belgrade is just 11 miles from Bozeman. Its population is 8,254 and has a median age of 31.9.
- According to the 2015 American Community Survey, there are 3,308 total housing units in Belgrade, of which nearly half (1,511) were built prior to 1990.
- According to the 2012 Economic Census of the U.S., there are 340 business establishments within the Belgrade city limits.
- Market activity in Belgrade has been robust (Source: January 2021 Market Watch from Gallatin Association of Realtors and Big Sky County MLS)
- New listings for single-family homes have increased by 28.6% from January 2020; 18 active listings
- Average sales price for single-family homes increased by 24% from January 2020 to $451,488
- Condos have received 101.8% of the list price; average price was $271,870
- No condo listings at the time of the report
Belgrade is going to be a town to watch in the upcoming years. If the Downtown Design Plan is successful it will ultimately distinguish Belgrade as its own unique city apart from its more famous neighbor, Bozeman. If you have any questions about what’s happening in Belgrade and the areas surrounding Bozeman, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.