For decades, 7th Avenue was known as the “commercial strip” in Bozeman. It was the go-to place for furniture, clothing, haircuts, and groceries. But as a “beautified” downtown Bozeman began to take shape in the early 2000’s and development on the west side offered commercial competition, 7th Avenue seemed to take a backseat to the growth throughout the rest of the city.
Aside from new streetlights and landscaping in 2013, change on 7th Avenue seemed halted, as many other areas in Bozeman moved quickly ahead. Until 2015 when Bozeman commission approved a North 7th Renewal Plan that officially renamed the area “Midtown”. The plan was set to cultivate dense, urban style redevelopment with the help of a financing tool that routes a portion of property taxes collected in the district into a fund for revitalization efforts that was designated for the area in 2006.
Soon after, new businesses slowly started to take shape. Midtown Tavern became the only restaurant of its kind in the area, Universal Athletics relocated from downtown to the old IGA building on North 7th and City Brew opened up its 3rd Bozeman location on the same block. In 2018, the run-down Rainbow Hotel underwent a major facelift and reopened as the hip, mid-century modern style RSVP Motel.
Fast-forward to early 2019, and there are several plans on the table that will dramatically shape the area now known as Midtown:
The ELM - Logjam Concert Venue
In the Spring of 2018, plans for a concert venue called The ELM in Bozeman’s Midtown were announced. The venue will sit adjacent to RSVP Motel and will have the capacity to hold 1,500 people, drawing many more musical artists to Bozeman than ever before. The building design is contemporary with a heavy focus on concrete and wood with a "zen vibe". Heading the project is Montana-based music promoter, Logjam Presents. The venue is expected to host around 80 concerts per year and the facility will also be available for private functions, corporate parties, and community events. Photo credit: www.logjampresents.com
Midtown Brewery & Apartments
In January of 2019, a three-story building project on the corner of Durston and North 7th was proposed. Headed by the Bozeman company Lifestyle Solutions Real-estate, the project suggests that the building would include a brewery and commercial space on the ground floor, two floors of apartments and a rooftop gathering space. According to an article from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, property management developer Colin Ruh-Kirk states “It was important to us to create a multi-purpose building ... to bring life back to the Bozeman center and help steer away from and alleviate the urban sprawl development pattern that has encompassed city growth for the last several years.” Photo credit: Lifestyle Solutions Real Estate.
In early 2019, plans were announced for a new mixed-use development on Aspen Street and Fifth Avenue. The 68,000 square-foot building would replace the building that currently houses Fiesta Mexicana, Mixers Club and Mack’s and Max Barber Shop along with the Sunset Mobile Home Park. Property owner Mike Hope has hoped to redevelop the area since 2006 and is now moving the project into it’s beginning stages. The three-story building would include retail, restaurant and market-type event space on the first floor, offices on the second floor and 25 condos on the third floor. Photo Credit: A&E Architects.