For the past few years, new subdivisions have been underway in Anaconda for residents and those wishing to move there.
The five subdivisions are part of a years-long effort to revitalize the town and make it more attractive, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County General Manager Bill Everett said.
While one of the developments, Penn Street, is complete, the other four are still in progress.
Among the changes to Anaconda are new infrastructure, including a new sewage treatment plant, streets and streetlights, new businesses like Murdoch’s, a new hotel, and “a large amount of environmental damage cleanup” resulting from the merge into Anaconda’s past. .
“The housing market is really taking off in Anaconda for the first time in 45 years,” Everett said.
Smelter City Estates on Marcus Daly Drive is a project of Anaconda resident Kevin Orrino and associates. According to Orrino, the subdivision has been in the works for about 20 years, when Orrino and others purchased the land from the city, which sold it in an effort to raise taxes and stimulate the economy.
Orrino said the project is separated into three “phases”. The first phase began in 2002, the second around 2009 and the third in 2020. The third phase is the largest with 21 batches, Orrino said. The first phase includes five lots and the second six.
At the start of the project, there were 30 acres. Now, Orrino said, there are about 12 acres left for phase three.
Each lot is between 0.4 acres and 1 acre, he said.
“These are not first-time homes,” Orrino said. “These are upper level homes. We’ve been shot with duplexes, quadruplexes and condos. People didn’t want all that density on the hill.
Orrino said that as of now, about half of the Phase Three batches are spoken four, and he expects that to be complete by October 2022.
“It will be a huge addition to Anaconda’s tax base,” he said. “And help the housing problem in Anaconda.”
He added that the vision 20 years ago was to provide work for local contractors within Anaconda, but now, as they are one to two years away, it is a bit difficult for buyers to lots.
FORMER AREAS OF WORK
Led by Discover Anaconda, Old Works Estates executive director Adam Vauthier said the idea for the subdivision began about two and a half years ago. Construction began in May.
This subdivision will have 34 lots, says Vauthier. Each lot will be between 7,500 and 12,500 square feet, he said.
Although Discover Anaconda does not typically sell land, it has seen a need for housing in Anaconda and has entered into a public-private partnership with the county in which the county will be reimbursed after the sale of lots begins.
Discover Anaconda won’t profit from the deal, Vauthier said, but that wasn’t the intention.
“(Anaconda) needed homes so badly,” he said. “And we had to show the developers if they came and did a subdivision, they would sell their land.”
The organization’s goal is to sell the lots for the best price possible, so people still have money to build, Vauthier said. He said he expects the lots to be finished by mid-September, except for the paving.
Vauthier said he thinks the demand for housing in Anaconda and Butte is due to a number of things.
“There are a few factors,” he said. “Bill Everett is kind of an energizing bunny when it comes to attracting business. And then there are the Missoula-Bozeman refugees coming to Anaconda and Butte…and people are working remotely now, looking places like Anaconda and places in Montana where they have nice access to outdoor gear.
Vauthier added that there has been an increase in the number of local businesses and professionals moving into town, and said this is the first time Anaconda has seen its population grow since the early 1990s. .
He said Discover Anaconda will manage the subdivision until 50% of the lots are sold, then hand over control to the homeowners association. Although there is a developer interested in building townhouses on East-end Street for first-time home buyers to purchase.
While most single-family homes are likely to suit those looking to downsize their current home, Discover Anaconda hopes to reach “a lot of different audiences.”
CHALETS IN THE FORMER WORKS
The Cottages at Old Works are near the Old Works and Penn Street estates, and are run by Susie and Steve Cavanaugh.
The subdivision originally started as an effort to get the Cavanaughs closer to their daughter. They built a cabin near the Old Works Golf Course and liked it so much they decided it could be bigger.
“They’re the funniest little things in the world,” Susie Cavanaugh said.
The vision is a total of 15, 660-square-foot cabins, Susie Cavanaugh said. The cabins will have “top of the line” amenities, she said, including a fireplace, a four-person hot tub on the deck, a two-person hot tub in the lavatory, the best quality cabinetry they might find, LG-branded appliances and more.
The idea started four or five years ago, but construction only started last fall, she said.
The model, which is the Cavanaughs’ cottage, will hopefully be completed in time for the grand opening in August, she said. They plan to complete the second cottage in October or November and eventually plan to add a two-story office/gym and a chapel with a recording studio.
Guests could potentially rent the chalets and use the chapel for weddings, she said.
“People are doing smaller weddings now, like at Rock Creek Resort, people will have weddings with 10 or 15 people instead of having gigantic weddings,” Cavanaugh said. “They’d rather come and rent the whole place and enjoy the golf course or, if it’s a winter wedding, the ski resort.”
While they don’t know yet whether they will sell all the cabins or rent them out, she said they are open-minded about how they will be used.
“They’re for everyone and whatever they want to use,” Cavanaugh said. “We are approved for rentals by the night, week, month or to buy.”
The process took longer than expected due to supply chain shortages for some of their commodities, but the upside of it, Cavanaugh said, is that she and her husband can fine tune what they want for. use the cabins.
She said the land was about 2.18 acres stretching across the river and she knew some people were already excited about the development. In particular, the city and county have made building a subdivision an enjoyable experience.
“I’ve never worked in a county or a city where the people who run the city are so supportive of whatever’s good for the city,” Cavanaugh said of Anaconda and Everett regarding the ease of building a housing estate.
BETSY PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT
The Georgetown Lake Subdivision is owned by Southern Cross Company, whose developer John Fitzpatrick owns one-third.
The subdivision will have two phases, he said. The first will have 11 lots for single-family homes and 12 in phase two. He said the subdivision covers over 23 acres.
“There are seven or more acres of green space,” Fitzpatrick said. “The roads take up a fair amount of acres, so there are 12 acres of land in lots.”
He said lots range from half an acre to 0.95 acres.
Fitzpatrick, like Cavanaugh, said Anaconda makes it easier to create a housing estate.
“They have a very clear subdivision request,” he said. “It lists all the data you need to provide it, you get a review, and if you do a good job on the front-end, it navigates.”
He said the company is currently building roads, will get power lines in the fall, and the first phase of the subdivision won’t be completed until next spring or summer.
The Penn Street subdivision, also owned by Fitzpatrick, was completed in November 2021, he said, and all 13 lots are sold out. The lots are intended for single-family homes.
“I recognized that there was a real demand for housing in Anaconda,” Fitzpatrick said. “I spotted a piece of land and saw it sit undeveloped for 30 years, so I kept going.”
He said the subdivision is just under three acres.
“We have a housing crisis in this state right now,” Fitzpatrick said. “Subdivision activity is going to have to mobilize all cities and counties to meet the housing needs of people.”