Great things are in the works for an area east of downtown Billings, known by the acronym EBURD. It stands for East Billings Urban Renewal District and it holds some of the greatest commercial, industrial and even residential development potential in our city. Make that RE-development as this is an area east of downtown that was established nearly 100 years ago and much of it has deteriorated or has been neglected over the years as our city pushed to the west end and heights. In the last few years a few visionary companies and organizations have begun to change that condition. First Interstate Bank, the Billings Food Bank and Red Oxx Manufacturing have completed projects or are in the process of making new investments in this area and hold the belief that this area holds significant promise for our community.
The establishment of a form based code has been in the works and promises to be implemented at the end of 2011. This new code will help develop areas within the EBURD that can have flexibility in how buildings are sited in relation to setbacks, size, height and form of the project. This should allow for a more neighborhood feel, density and potential for successful returns for investors and property owners in this area, as well as making it a desirable area to work and live.
Our firm is working with several clients to redevelop existing buildings or construct new buildings or additions within the district. These companies exemplify the belief that this area holds great new/redeveloped promise for the core of our city. I look forward to being part of the progress and seeing the outcome over the remaining years that I practice Architecture.