Butte, Montana

Investment in Historic Uptown Butte

Butte, Montana  |  2015

Project Details

The Challenge

Key Activities



The City of Butte, Montana, is the state’s fifth largest city with a population around 34,000. Butte is known for its historical roots—a former mining town, the community is now seeing shifts in their economy.

Once a booming city center, “uptown,” as it’s called, has suffered from decades of disinvestment. In recent history, much of the growth and development in Butte has occurred south of uptown in an area known as the “flats.” But, with Montana Tech, a highly regarded engineering school located in uptown, there is a growing interest in reinvigorating the city center.

Butte and consultant, Progressive Urban Management Associate (PUMA), pulled in Community Builders for help in strengthening the link between Montana Tech and uptown. It involved examining and improving land use controls and incentives governing the West Park Street corridor, with the potential to explore architectural design requirements.

During a three-day workshop, Community Builders partnered with PUMA to meet with key stakeholders throughout the uptown corridor and the City. PUMA prepared a detailed market analysis examining the economic characteristics of the area, revealing opportunities for new development. 

Focus groups composed of local developers, business owners, and residents came together to discuss key challenges and opportunities within the corridor. Following these discussions, residents re-envisioned the area as a mixed-use, aesthetically pleasing, clean, and safe corridor.

This engagement-focused planning process resulted in the Uptown Butte Master Plan—a product that will guide public/private investment decisions for the next ten years and beyond.

In June 2018, Butte’s Urban Revitalization Agency doled out more than $82,000 in grants for six of the recommended projects in the Uptown Butte Master Plan. These included improvements to rental housing, as well as the renovation and revitalization of the corridor’s historic buildings and properties. 

Click the button below to read the final report.

Uptown Butte Master Plan