BUTTE — It’s the revitalization of the large and empty buildings in uptown Butte that have many in Silver Bow County hoping to see these old buildings brought back to life.
"You know when you see buildings that have been a long time underused or vacant and they're transferring to new ownership, it gives you a sense of that there may be some reinvestment going to occur and redevelopment of those structures and yeah I’m really excited about it, I think it’s great," said Karen Byrnes, the Butte-Silver Bow Community Development Director.
Ten buildings have been sold inside and outside the opportunity zone in Uptown Butte; two of those buildings are 75th East Park Street and the old YMCA building. Community members want to see the 1800's architecture flourish like that of the O’Rourke Building where renovations are almost complete.
Larry Smith, president of the board of directors for the Butte Citizens for Preservation and Revitalization, is happy about the investments put toward the old buildings in Uptown Butte.
"My understanding is when people invest in buildings, they’re getting a significant tax write off from the federal government, but they also need to revitalize the buildings. They can’t just sit on them and flip them so that’s the big plus and it’s just wonderful to see that somebody is willing to invest in these properties." Smith said.
It’s the appreciation of the history in these buildings that many community members want to see preserved when these new, modern businesses move into these old historic buildings.
Margaret Trimiew, the Administrative Coordinator for Butte Citizens for Preservation and Revitalization and owner of the Kelley Mansion, thinks it's fantastic that people are seeing the potential of these old buildings.
"People are buying up Butte, especially in the Uptown area. It’s being discovered," said Trimiew.