NewsMontana News


Butte continues search for buyer of former NorthWestern Energy building

Posted at 10:18 AM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 12:20:14-04

BUTTE – Nearly three years later and no takers, Butte is not giving up on finding a buyer for the former NorthWestern Energy building on East Broadway.

“We don’t want to keep it forever but we do want to get it into someone’s hands who has a plan for the building,” said Butte Community Development Director Karen Byrnes.

For the third time since taking ownership of the building as part of a deal with NorthWestern Energy to build its new headquarters building a block away on Park Street, the county is doing another push to market the building. It’s not an easy sell.

“It’s 115,000 square feet, so it’s very large, that’s four stories, that is a basement and a sub-basement so it’s a challenge to find a fit that works for the entire structure,” said Byrnes.

The county is obviously is eager to find a buyer for this building because when you consider the utilities, the staffing, the security, it could run a bill of up to $50,000 a year for the county.

“So we have the systems all still on and all still charged, so we have the electricity still on in the wintertime, still have the heat on because we want to keep our fire systems charged. We felt it was more cost effective to keep it that way in the short term,” she said.

If a developer can’t be found, the county’s other option is to auction off the building, which is not preferred because the county would like a buyer with a plan for the building. Interested developers have until June 12 to submit a request to the city.

-John Emeigh reporting for MTN News