My career as a construction manager has included every type of building that could be built. From high rise condo/office towers, hospitals, manufacturing plants, hotels, casinos, and mixed-use developments all over the western U.S.

Everyone one of them had to provide the necessary parking to accommodate the users of the buildings. There are several reasons the developers who want to build in downtown Bozeman do not or cannot provide the necessary parking.

The main one is parking spaces are very expensive and they do not pencil for the developers. The footprints of the spaces they want to build or develop on are too small for surface parking. That means they can only go up as in above-grade parking or down as in underground.

Going up is a problem because of building height limitations in the downtown area. They want everything above grade to be occupied by businesses or living spaces - not parking. Going down is very expensive. If they had to do either then they have to pass those costs on to whomever occupies those spaces. That runs counter to what the city fathers want - meaning affordable housing. They want the cost of spaces to go down not up.

The developers want the biggest bang for their buck and building parking spaces eats into that big time. Get the picture?

Pete Oakander

Manhattan