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The owner of the property bordering Story Mill Park that once hosted the Bozeman stockyards is making plans to redevelop.

Christine Huyser, who ran the Stockyard Cafe and lives in Harrison, has owned the property since the mid-2000s. The stockyards stopped operations in 2005 and the cafe followed suit in 2017.

Now, Huyser is in the early stages of figuring out what is next for the land, which is bisected by East Griffin Drive and now neighbors the new Story Mill Park and the under-construction Bridger View development, which will include dozens of compact homes at the site of a former mobile home park.

Huyser said she is hoping to make the area feel more like a neighborhood, while still preserving the character of the land.

“This is a place that you need to take in the historic nature of it, the agricultural influence of our past there. We need to take into account the views of Hyalite ... and the Bridgers and the ‘M’,” Huyser said. “The goal is to take all that into consideration and to put something there that the community really gets to enjoy.”

There are no firm site plans for the property yet, but Huyser is envisioning a mix of housing and commercial buildings.

An early step in the redevelopment process will come before the Zoning Commission at its Monday meeting, when commission members will decide whether to rezone the property to allow for mixed use with a residential focus in one portion and community business district use in the other.

If approved, it would go before the city commission in early August, Community Development Manager Chris Saunders said.

The property is now zoned for denser residential use and some commercial use. It was originally rezoned that way in the late 2000s to accommodate a massive development that was proposed for the area, which also used to be the home of a mobile home court.

The project fell through amid the Great Recession, and the land was eventually acquired to build Story Mill Park and the Bridger View development.

Though Huyser has broken down some of the old corrals, the sale barn and the old cafe are still standing on the property.

Huyser said she hopes to be able to keep some structures on the property, though they may need to be modified or moved.

“I would love it for people to be able to walk through the front door of the old Stockyard Cafe and walk into that space,” Huyser said. “It’s really important for me to try to mix the old and the new.”

Another goal is to keep the back of the property open to blend in with Story Mill Park, Huyser said.

Huyser acknowledged the project will be a “herculean feat,” but said she is committed to doing right by the land.

“It’s not just about money, it’s also about honoring the place and honoring the history and honoring the people that love it,” Huyser said.

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Nora Shelly can be reached at nshelly@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2607.

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