By Joseph T. O’Connor EBS Managing Editor
Big Sky is expanding rapidly and no place exemplifies this growth more than the Town Center. Fifteen buildings have been constructed in the last 10 years, and currently three major projects – housing six new businesses and nine residential spaces – are underway in the 165-acre section of the Big Sky community.
Town Center is approximately 30 percent built out and zoned for more than 335,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, according to Town Center Project Manager Ryan Hamilton. Additionally, the area is zoned for 491 single- and multi-family residential opportunities, including 120 residential units in the commercial district, Hamilton said.
This downtown space also sees summer-long events like Music in the Mountains every Thursday as well as Wednesday night farmers markets, which include more than 100 vendors. The market kicked off June 24 and runs through September.
“Big Sky Town Center is the natural gathering place for the area where everyone comes together,” reads Town Center’s website.
From the recently completed Roxy’s Market and the forthcoming Big Sky Medical Center to the area’s first three-story building next to East Slope Outdoors, to a new brewery, CrossFit center and apothecary, Big Sky Town Center is growing by the season. Here’s an update.
Big Sky Medical Center
The Big Sky Medical Center, located on Lone Mountain Trail east of Roxy’s Market, is on schedule to open in early December. Complete with on-site imaging capabilities; a helicopter medevac pad; five in-patient beds; lab services; primary care clinic; pharmacy; and six-room emergency department, the center aims to reduce the amount of patient transports to Bozeman.
Bozeman Deaconess Health Services, which is heading the project, hired five physicians to make up its medical team. The new-hires are as follows:
Dr. Phil Hess was hired as BSMC’s medical director. With more than 18 years of experience in rural health clinics, private practice and critical access hospitals, he is board certified in family medicine and will also serve as an administrator at BSMC.
Dr. Maren Dunn Chandler opened Big Sky’s Gallatin Family Medicine in 2011, and joined BSMC in January. Chandler is board certified in family medicine and specializes in family practice, women’s health, and sports injuries, among other disciplines.
Dr. Jeremy Mitchell, also board certified in family medicine, is proficient in gastrointestinal endoscopy, and practiced urgent care in Boise, Idaho, before moving to inpatient and outpatient services at St. Joseph Medical Clinic in Polson, Mont.
Dr. Mark Siemer practiced family, sports, and emergency medicine in Colorado for more than 15 years. A certified family physician, Siemer completed his residency in family medicine at HealthONE Center of Health Sciences Education in Denver.
Dr. Kirk Weber is board certified in emergency medicine and a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He’s moving to Big Sky from Hawaii, where he served as Emergency Department Vice-Chair at the Hilo Medical Center.
Peaks Crossfit and Big Sky Athletics
Craig and Becky Bishop, who own the Peaks Building just south of Roxy’s Market, are completing Peaks CrossFit and Big Sky Athletics, a gym where members will focus on strength and conditioning, according to Craig.
“It’s a combination of weightlifting, gymnastics and cardio,” he said, adding that circuit training is a main component of CrossFit. “But everything is scalable. The goal is to get people started as mellow as possible and make them strong.”
The Bishops have been involved in CrossFit for years, but are looking to train both beginners and experts in the technique. The owners plan to focus on a number of different classes, from traditional CrossFit and age- and ability-specific courses, to ski conditioning and eventually one-on-one training.
“CrossFit will be a great addition to this community,” Craig said. “If people come down and just watch what people are doing, that’s my advice – to see for themselves and make up their own minds.”
Peaks CrossFit will be open in July, but Craig plans to offer some free classes to experienced area CrossFitters starting the week of June 29.
Beehive Basin Brewery
A new brewery is also nearing completion in the Peaks Building.
“We want people to come by here after work or after skiing or to just start their evening,” said Andy Liedberg, the brewer who co-owns the business with Casey Folley.
The brewing equipment is made in the U.S., and the majority of the grain the brewery will use is grown in Montana. The walls are made of reclaimed grain elevator wood, and the 14-person bar top was constructed from reclaimed oak.
“It’s important to me that one of the biggest investments I make be an American product,” Liedberg said.
Liedberg and Folley will sell stainless steel growlers for customers to carry beer off-premises to limit garbage from glass and disposable cups, especially during Music in the Mountains, where glass is prohibited.
The expanding Town Center has the brewery’s owners poised for a toast.
“We’re really excited about the location here,” Folley said. “We’re looking toward the future and the growth of Big Sky.”
The Cauldron Botanicals
Big Sky local Tara Gale has dreamed about opening an alternative medicine and holistic health store for years. That dream took a backseat while she and her husband Sean operated Gale Force Property Management in Big Sky, a business both still manage. With the new Peaks Building came the opportunity Tara was waiting for.
The Cauldron Botanicals will offer healthy smoothies and teas; a line of kombucha; all-natural skin-care products; and baked goods that will cater to those with Paleolithic diets as well as people with celiac disease or certain food allergies such as gluten. Tara plans to offer natural health consulting within the year.
“Herbal medicine is what we used for centuries before allopathic medicine,” said Tara, referring to traditional pharmacology medicine as opposed to alternative medicine. “There’s a time and a place for both, but nature provides a lot of remedies. We sometimes forget that.”
A current student of alternative medicine at the American College of Healthcare Sciences in Portland, Ore., Tara is looking forward to opening her storefront by the end of July.
“For 20 years I’ve wanted to do this,” she said.
44 Town Center Avenue
Local developer John Romney is making strong headway on his newest building, located at 44 Town Center Avenue next to East Slope Outdoors. It’s the first of its kind in Big Sky.
“It is the shape of things to come,” said Romney of the first three-story building in Town Center. “The majority of the buildings going along Town Center Avenue will be three stories. That’s always been the plan.”
Romney also developed the ESO building next door at 32 Town Center Avenue, as well as the Lone Peak Cinema Building and Tower Place on Ousel Falls Road. Tower Place houses Fercho Gallery & Elliott Design; Creighton Block Contemporary Gallery; Pure West Christie’s International Real Estate; and residential space on the second floor.
The ground floor of the new building will house 4,500 square feet of retail space and eight apartments for rent between the second and third floors. The mixed-use buildings Romney has developed in Town Center follow a pattern, and he says the designs will play a major role as the area continues to develop.
“I love the mixed-use residential and commercial. It helps create a vibrancy in town with a buzz of activity,” Romney said. “It doesn’t solve the housing problem, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
The building will be ready for occupancy Dec. 1, he said.
Lone Mountain Land Company
Lone Mountain Land Company is keeping busy, teaming up with Boyne Resorts and the Big Sky Community Corp. to build more than 30 miles of hiking and biking trails in Big Sky by 2016.
Among other operations, LMLC is the development arm for CrossHarbor Capital Partners’ projects outside of the Yellowstone Club. LMLC has purchased lots 1, 2 and 3 from Big Sky Town Center, and this fall plans to break ground on two buildings – one at the corner of Lone Mountain Trail and Ousel Falls Road, the other next to it, along Town Center Avenue.
A two-story, 16,000-square-foot building will occupy lot 1, with ground-floor retail and food and beverage space, and LMLC development offices on the second floor.
Lots 2 and 3 will see a three-story, 30,000-square-foot building with retail space on the ground level and 16 two-bedroom residential units on the second and third floors, according to LMLC’s Vice President of Planning and Development Bayard Dominick.
“Our goal is to be able to attract top retailers and food and beverage businesses as well as [to provide] long-term rentals for people living in Big Sky,” Dominick said. “That Main Street of Big Sky is going to be an important piece to the future of Town Center.”
The yearlong project will be completed in fall 2016, according to Dominick.