Tag Archives: Real Estate

6th WREIN Meet Up: Urban Revitalization

Our 6th Meet Up of WREIN (Women Real Estate Investors Network) gathered at Justine Colan’s beautiful home and one of the first Silver Bow County community development package recipients in 2005.  The “package” is now a beautiful 3 bedroom home overlooking the lights of Butte and the Continental Divide. Our speaker for the night, Karen Byrnes, the Butte Silver Bow, Director of Community Development and  Urban Revitalization Agency (URA) remembered assessing the blighted property for the CD package and thinking, “No one will buy this”.   Luckily, the opportunity was put out there. This vision for community development has allowed for slow sustained growth: Justine’s property is one successful example.

Karen was asked to explain the URA and community development planning programs and how real estate investors can access them.  Karen encourages investors struggling to put together proposals to come to see her. She knows how to get things done. Here is an excerpt from the Community Development website explaining the goals of the program:

The Community Development Department leads community and economic development efforts for the City-County of Butte-Silver Bow.

The Community Development Department’s mission is to promote, grow and preserve the assets of Butte-Silver Bow related to both economic and community development. It is responsible for addressing pressing community needs through the preparation and administration of grant applications and the implementation of programs.

The Community Development Department oversees the functions of three Tax-Increment Financing Development Districts; the Urban Revitalization Agency (URA), the East Butte Renovation and Rehabilitation Agency (RRA), and the Montana Connections Business Development Park, an industrial development district, often referred to as the TIFID.

The Department administers the Business Development CenterUrban Revitalization Agency (URA), and Greenway Service District.

For more information on community development in and around Butte, refer to the Butte-Silver Bow Community & Business Development website and the Montana Connections Business Development Park website.


So, what are our community’s pressing needs? We talked about this. We are an urban/rural place where 2 interstates intersect. We have been able to avoid the box store trend (the narrow platting out our main business street may be the reason for this). Sometimes, a community which has been “left behind” can actually be ahead if the last trend would have left yet more vacant buildings. Are we prepared for the next step for goods distribution and complementary industries? Would other disruptive technologies benefit us? To address these concerns, our meeting was also benefited by Krista Rosa: Community Development,  TIFID Administrator.

Taken from the TIFID web site: “Montana law enables local governments to use tax revenue in designated districts (Tax Increment Financing Districts, or TIFs) for development and redevelopment activities and to pay for public infrastructure needs of projects. The Butte Tax Increment Financing Industrial District (TIFID) focuses on the Montana Connections Business Development Park, providing financial support to help with adding capacity, building facilities, and site development. Funds are available to help qualified candidates. Assistance levels are based on total project investment and job creation”.


Karen and Krista brought to the meeting, years of community development planning experience. Investors were able to ask about trends of investment and goals of the government. This stimulated funding and strategy ideas for property procurement and business development. Loved talking about developing businesses which complement the successful ones already in the area. Once again, I am so grateful to this group for coming together! Thanks to all who attended.

This is how to connect with our featured guests for the 6th WREIN Meet-Up:


Karen Byrnes

Director of Community Development/Urban Revitalization Agency (URA)
155 W. Granite St.
Room 115
Butte, MT 59701
Fax: 406-497-6248

Ph: 406-497-6467
Email: kbyrnes@bsb.mt.gov

Kristen Rosa

Community Development,
TIFID Administrator
Website: montanaconnectionspark.com
Email: krosa@bsb.mt.gov
Ph: 406-497-6470

155 W. Granite St.
Room 115
Butte, MT 59701
Fax: 406-497-6248