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Belgrade seeing new wave of growth driven by commercial development

Posted at 4:34 PM, Feb 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-22 14:12:17-05

BELGRADE — If you have driven around Belgrade, you'll have noticed a lot of construction projects, and it's not all just new homes. Belgrade City Manager Neil Cardwell says the city is seeing a new wave of commercial development.

“The joke when I arrived here about three years ago was that you could do almost anything in Belgrade except buy a pair of socks, and we're looking and excited to see that that is changing so that you don't have to hop on the interstate and drive to Bozeman,” says Cardwell.

For decades, Belgrade residents had to travel to get their shopping done.

“For years Belgrade, and it continues to be somewhat, is considered a bedroom community to our neighbor Bozeman. The houses were here and you drove and went into Bozeman to work. We're starting to see a shift in that now, and that's healthy for a city, to be able to be a little bit more self-sustaining,” says Cardwell.

That shift is coming from a new wave of commercial development.

“Especially on our southern corridor south of the interstate, where we've got developments like West Post that are coming in that are going to be pretty heavy, heavily commercial,” says Cardwell.

The largest commercial projects are Jackrabbit Crossing, West Post, and Yellowstone Landing. Another area that’s also a target for development is along Jackrabbit near the Frontage Road interchange.

Cardwell says residential growth is driving the commercial demand.

“There's not a lot of communities that have gone from tiny like Belgrade was not more than a decade ago to we're the eighth largest city in the state now and well on our way into the future, getting perhaps getting even larger,” says Cardwell.

I asked Cardwell if he knew of any names of businesses moving to the city. He told me residents and city leaders find out at the same time.

“We don’t know either until the community does. Developers keep that pretty tight,” says Cardwell.