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Billings City Council approves city hall sale, paves way for new hotel

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Posted at 10:10 PM, Mar 11, 2024

Billings City Council voted unanimously Monday night to go ahead with a deal that could pave the way for the construction of a new seven-story Marriott hotel in downtown Billings.

It would be the first hotel built downtown in 45 years.

Council approved the $2.8 million sale of city hall, the Park 3 garage, and two parking lots as part of the deal.

Plans are in the works to construct a new upscale hotel with 140-room capacity to go on the corner of Second Avenue North and North 27th Street at the cost of around $40 million.

The current Rockman building at 2704 2nd Ave. N. would be demolished to make room for the hotel.

The two developers— Billings businessman Bill Honaker and Don Cape of Bozeman— told the Council they hope to have the hotel completed by the end of 2026.

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“It’s going to create a showcase modern, highly visible project that targets the next generation of professionals downtown. And at the same time, it complements the existing hotel inventory,” said Honaker.

“I don’t want to say it’s 'build it and they will come', but sometimes you have to step back and go, 'what doesn’t exist and why doesn’t it exist?' And often times it’s because no one stepped forward and said, I’m willing to do it,” said Cape.

While city hall is not slated for immediate re-development, the owners of the project plan to use the Park 3 garage for the hotel guests and acquire the old historic city hall building as well.

Council also approved tax increment financing assistance from the Downtown TIF district for the project-- up to a maximum reimbursement of $5 million.

“I think this is a win, win, win,” said councilman Mike Boyett.

“Something of this magnitude and nature is exactly what I was hoping for when we put these properties up for sale. I know it was a long haul, but I think it is going to be really good for Billings,” said councilwoman Kendra Shaw.