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Gallatin County Purchases Farm Bureau Building in Bozeman

Gallatin County has purchased the Farm Bureau building in Bozeman, adding space for current and future county operations to continue serving our growing population.

On Thursday, Dec. 1, the Gallatin County Commission signed closing documents finalizing the purchase of the 24,000-square-foot building, located at 502 S. 19th. Ave., just east of the Law and Justice Center.

"It's a great addition to our Law and Justice Center campus for our growing county," said Commissioner Scott MacFarlane. "Purchasing an existing building and renovating is a more economical choice than building new. Getting this facility is a better deal for taxpayers and will help us serve our citizens for years to come."

The county bought the building from 502 South 19th LLC, managed by Jeffery Greenberg, for $3.6 million. The county is also paying about $150,000 in additional fees for things like inspections and broker's commission.

County staff will now work to develop plans for remodeling, which the county aims to begin in the fall of 2023.

Remodeling plans depend on what departments are moved into the building, how much space they will require, and what they each need to perform their work. The list of county offices that will be moved into the building hasn't been finalized, but some departments will include Court Services and 911 Records.

"During our public outreach for the bond to build our new courts building, we told the public that we planned on building a new facility on the Law and Justice Center campus for other programming that wasn't going to be in the new courts building. We are following through on that promise, but in a different way that enables us to get about twice the space for the same price as building new," said Gallatin County Commissioner Joe Skinner.

Commissioners will also decide on if the county will rent out any space to organizations outside of the county, including current tenants.

There are 15 tenants currently in the Farm Bureau building. The county will work directly with them through this ownership transition. Tenants will remain in place while the county works on a timeline for them moving out or potentially continuing to lease space. If any of those tenants are displaced, the county will assist them with temporary and/or permanent relocation.

"As we take over this building as the new owners, we are committed to working with each current tenant to help make this transition as seamless as possible," said Gallatin County Commissioner Zach Brown. "In the coming months, we will work with each tenant on a transition plan, eventually leading up to a remodel followed by moving in our county departments."

The Farm Bureau building purchase is one of a number of ongoing capital projects the county is currently engaged in to add needed space, upgrade aging facilities, and provide better and more efficient customer service to our citizens.

Construction of the new courts building, located next to the current Law and Justice Center, began in October. It is slated to be finished by the fall of 2024.

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office building, located near the intersection of Jackrabbit and Baxter lanes in Four Corners, will be remodeled and expanded. And a new building for Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue will be constructed at the sheriff's office Four Corners campus. Both of those projects are slated to start late this spring and wrap up in 2024.