Black-Olive revised rendering

A rendering of a revised design for Andy Holloran’s Black-Olive apartment project in downtown Bozeman, prepared by Denver architecture firm Johnson Nathan Strohe.

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Developer Andy Holloran provided city planners with revised design drawings for his Black-Olive proposal this week, maintaining the apartment building’s five-story height but adjusting exterior materials in an effort to placate neighbors and the city's design review board.

The revised proposal adds brick facade to much of the building, and also incorporates corrugated metal and some wood siding.

The new materials, Holloran said Friday, are intended to emulate the style used in his Block M townhouses on the north side of town, a project that recently won a city beautification award.

“It’s a material palette that is recognizable and, I think, comfortable for people,” he said.

In comparison to designs submitted in October, the revision also adds an additional two-bedroom apartment to the building, bringing its total number of studio, one- and two-bedroom living units to 56.

The new iteration also includes a slight reduction in the number of parking spaces in an enclosed first-floor garage, from 38 to 36. In exchange, Holloran wants to boost the number of spots dedicated to a car-sharing service for residents from three to four.

City parking regulations, which are written to generally require a single parking space per living unit in the downtown B-3 zoning district, give developers five spaces worth of credit for each car-share slot included in a project.

Holloran is also allowed to count four spaces of on-street parking bordering the project toward his quota, meaning the revised design appears to remain in compliance with the city’s parking standards.

Many neighbors, as well as members of the city design review board, have been critical of the Black-Olive proposal, which would replace the aging office building that currently occupies the southeast corner of Black and Olive on the south side of downtown.

Among other concerns, opponents have cited the building’s size, aesthetics and parking impacts as they’ve lobbied against Holloran’s proposal, which will ultimately go before the city’s five-member commission. Opponents and proponents alike have also said they see Black-Olive's fate as a bellwether for similar developments in the downtown area.

“The material palette provides connectivity and respectful contrast, between the different neighborhoods in Bozeman,” Denver-based architecture firm Johnson Nathan Strohe writes in a design narrative included in the revised submission.

“The geometry of the building incorporates solids and voids, evoking a subtle abstraction of geological and other natural forms along the building facades,” the firm also writes. “Lightness and contrast of the finishes breaks the scale, while the glazed ground floor spaces engage the sidewalk in a pedestrian-friendly manner connecting the exterior and interior."

Holloran also said this week he thinks the feedback has made for a better project than what his company, HomeBase Montana, initially proposed on the site.

“We’re excited about it. The process works,” he said. “It fits in better with the character of the neighborhood than it did even a month or two ago.”

“We do collaborate, we do listen,” Holloran added, “and we think that’s really important — particularly in a downtown.”

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Eric Dietrich can be reached at 406-582-2628 or He is on Twitter at @eidietrich.

Eric Dietrich covers city government and health for the Chronicle.

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