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Billings City Council approves selling downtown buildings, including City Hall

Billings Buildings 2.jpg
Posted at 8:07 PM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 17:18:07-05

BILLINGS - Major changes could be on the way for downtown billings.

The Billings City Hall and several other large properties will soon be on the market after approval from City Council on Monday night.

The city of Billings will move some of its offices into the Stillwater building down the street and with that, it will have to sell some buildings in downtown Billings.

Part of the reason for selling is economic development, according to city officials.

Several city-owned properties will soon officially hit the market after approval from the City Council Monday night, including City Hall, several parking garages, two parking lots on North 27th near Burger Dive and Jake's and the parking garage on Third Avenue North between North 29th and North 30th.

"We want to see some economic development in the downtown area," said Kevin Iffland, assistant city administrator. "What we'll do is put out for a competitive bid process for these properties."

Iffland said it may take several weeks before the buildings and property are on the market.

And it will be ultimately up to the City Council whether to accept any offers.

"Little different process of just, hey put it on the market, here's the price, Iffland said. "We have to do a little bit different process for it. All city buildings, so a little bit more hoops to jump through."

Iffland says the bottom floors of parking garages could work for businesses. The parking lot land could be developed, and City Hall could be a draw for some developers.

"We're seeing a lot of the older buildings kind of get refurbished, remodeled, whether they're studio apartments or one, two-bedroom units, things of that nature," Iffland said. "So I think there could be some interest and it does have some character that could go along with that. We're hoping that we get a lot of creative ideas."

And area businesses are hoping new property will lead to new opportunities.

"Everything that's being done with downtown now, it's fun to watch it grow and develop," said Dustin Sanders, a part owner of The Nut Shack.

"Keep up with the times," Sanders added. "Kind of keep it very urban, a lot of local and new stuff down here."

Christian Powell, general manager of the downtown Soup & Such, hopes the same for the restaurant, which relies heavily on business from the police department next door.

"I would say as long as our detectives keep coming back and everything, it just invites more business," said Powell. "So I'd invite more businesses around here."

High hopes with big changes on the horizon right in the heart of the city.

Iffland encourages anyone to call him with questions at 406-657-8478.

He also says the city will consider selling other properties in the future.