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Butte ready to negotiate film company’s takeover of former NW Energy building

Posted: 12:40 PM, Jul 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-27 14:44:18-04

BUTTE – Butte’s Council of Commissioners agreed this week to begin negotiating the transfer of ownership of the former NorthWestern Energy building on Broadway to a company that plans to utilize the massive structure.

“It takes into account the entire structure, all 115,000 square feet, so that’s what makes it really exciting. It’s multiple uses; one project, you know, one building owner,” said Community Development Director Karen Byrnes.

Bitterroot Gateway Development out of Missoula proposed to use the building as the headquarters for the film and media production company Montana Studios, currently headquartered in Hamilton.

“They need a very large space. They would be able to have two full, three-story sound stages in this structure, and that’s something they cannot find anywhere else without having to build it from scratch,” said Byrnes.

So how much is Butte planning to sell this massive building for? $1. But the county says for the amount of investment the company is making in this building, it will be worth all 100 pennies.

“Their budget into this structure is $10-plus million, so it’s a large investment into an existing building that would be put back into production, back, vital in our community producing all sorts of good things,” said Byrnes.

If negotiations go well, Montana Studios could be operating in a year.

-John Emeigh reporting for MTN News