BUTTE — Butte-Silver Bow County has agreed to sell the former NorthWestern Energy building in Butte to a media production company for $1.
Commissioners had authorized the transfer of the five-building complex to Bitterroot Gateway Development in September with an option to buy. Bitterroot Gateway Development exercised that option and the deal is scheduled to close at the end of the month, The Montana Standard reports.
Steve Grover, president of Bitterroot Gateway Development, said his company plans to use the space for Montana Studios, which also has operations near Hamilton. The Butte buildings would house production sound stages, set locations, offices, educational and training rooms and living space for people working on movie and film projects.
Grover previously told Butte-Silver Bow commissioners the project would cost $10 million to $12 million and take seven to 10 years to complete.
Grover helped draft legislation that created tax incentives for the film industry that were passed by the 2019 Legislature.
The Butte-Silver Bow County government inherited the buildings in 2016 as part of a deal to keep NorthWestern Energy’s corporate headquarters in Butte.
The utility built a new $25 million office building in Butte and transferred the old buildings to Butte-Silver Bow after being unable to sell them. The city-county government agreed to maintain and market the buildings.
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