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The Black Olive Project — The Guest That Wouldn’t Leave

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Photo by Catalin205 • Source: ThinkStock

We can expect to see a grassroots outpouring of citizens at the upcoming Oct 9th Bozeman City Commission meeting.

What’s The Topic?

What else? The won’t-seem-to-ever-die Black Olive Project proposed several times in various guises by HomeBase Montana developer Andy Holloran.

The Black Olive Project is a five-story redevelopment at the corner of Black and Olive streets. It will include a combination of storefronts, office space, and 47 condos, reduced from the originally proposed 57 condos, due to a dispute about the number of parking spots proposed.

This will be Holloran’s fourth effort at redesigning downtown Bozeman.

Other Holloran projects include the Block M townhouses off Lamme Street, the five-story 104-room Element Hotel and the 5 West building on Mendenhall at Willson.

Citizen’s Design Police

Look for an overflow crowd of NIMBYs on Monday night. The not-in-my-backyard Save Bozeman group is hopeful that the public’s demonstrated disapproval of the project might sway the commission’s mind to kill the project for good.

Just a few years ago public sentiment influenced the commission to deny Town & Country Food Store the right to build near the corner of Willson and Kagy near MSU.

Bozeman Growth

I’ve always had mixed feelings about growth in and around Bozeman. As a pro-business person I’ve always felt our city was a little too disingenuous to new businesses in our town.

The Bozeman City Commission has placed a lot of speed bumps in the path of those job creators over the past 20 years or so.

Now I’m wondering which side to take on this Black Olive controversy. On the one hand, downtown Bozeman is very vibrant in spite of a Super Walmart, Costco, Target, and Kohl’s.

On the other hand, I’d like to keep the small town innocence I found when I moved here 25 years ago. I don’t see that happening.

Some Final Thoughts

Growth is going to happen no matter how much opposition is placed in its way.

I wasn’t around, but I’m sure there must have been some resistance to the Baxter Hotel. Who in their right mind would want a huge 10-story mega eyesore in the middle of our sleepy little Bozeman hamlet?

Along comes Andy Holloran — hero or villain? Will a future street be named after him or will Save Bozeman ride him out of town on a rail?

I guess we’ll find out Monday night October 9th. Or will a decision on the project be postponed and resubmitted at a later date?

City Commissioner and former Mayor Jeff Krauss is my guest on the Saturday edition of “Open for Business” at 11:30 a.m. local time to discuss the commission’s options and community responsibilities.

What’s your opinion on the Black Olive Project and the future growth of Bozeman?

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