Intent & Area
On October 29, 2018, the Helena City Commission approved the establishment of the Downtown Urban Renewal District (DURD), with final passage of Ordinance 3242(PDF, 244KB) , creating the district, establishing its boundaries, and formally adopting the Downtown Urban Renewal District Plan, inclusive of a tax increment provision in accordance with state statute (MCA 7-15-42 and 7-15-43). The DURD Plan set forth the following district goals to guide redevelopment within the downtown:
- Build a Cohesive Downtown Identity
- Add to Downtown Vibrancy with a Mix of Uses
- Upgrade Underperforming Properties
- Invest in the Public Infrastructure Needed to Attract Development
- Promote Historic Preservation to Create a Quality and Unique Experience
The district was originally established with boundaries generally located east of Benton and Park Avenues, west of Warren and Jackson Streets, and south of Lyndale Avenue, including Centennial Park north of Lyndale. The boundary was subsequently amended on November 18, 2019 to incorporate the Rodney Street area (generally located between 6th Street and Pine Street from Rodney, to the edge of the original district boundary on Warren Street), with the final passage of Ordinance 3275(PDF, 121KB) .
In early 2020, the Montana Department of Revenue certified taxable property valuations for the establishment of the Tax Increment Financing provision for the district, which was followed by the creation of the Downtown TIF Advisory Board. The Board is comprised of 14 members, ranging from residents and landowners to business sector representatives and non-profit and education sector representatives. The Board is tasked with completing annual work plans, reports, evaluations, and budgets and making recommendations for allocation of TIF funding and any future amendments to the Downtown Urban Renewal District Plan.
DURD Tax Increment Financing Opportunities
Applications are being sought for review by the Downtown TIF Advisory Board for eventual consideration for approval by the City Commission on a biannual basis in the months of January and July with applications due by the end of December and June, respectively. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) dollars are available for eligible projects that meet the goals of the DURD Plan that incentivize private development and promote a more vibrant downtown. Applications are being prioritized for TIF funding where they serve a public purpose and address one of the following, in alignment with the FY2023 Work Plan:
- Improve infrastructure;
- Serve site redevelopment needs of underutilized/underperforming properties;
- Activate public spaces;
- Create or retain affordable housing;
- Make façade improvements;
- Establish a marketing/branding plan;
- Assist in the redevelopment of Cruse Avenue; or
- Reinvigorate the Rodney Street Commercial Center.
Applicants may request up to fifty percent match (50%) funding for projects exceeding $10,000 or up to twenty-five percent match (25%) for projects equal to or less than $10,000. The TIF application form is provided below in the “Additional Information” section of this page. All prospective applicants are required to contact the City of Helena Community Development Department, 316 N. Park Avenue, Room 445, Helena, MT 59623, (406) 447-8490, firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss the project and determine eligibility for TIF assistance prior to making an application to the city.
N. Park Avenue, Room 445, Helena, MT 59623, (406) 447-8490, email@example.com, to discuss the project and determine eligibility for TIF assistance prior to making an application to the city.
- Installation of hand sanitizer stations throughout the Helena Business Improvement District in response to COVID-19 business needs (2020) COVID-19 Response Hand Sanitizer Installation Map(PDF, 464KB)
- Hill Park performance stage installation (2020) – Installation of a concrete stage pad in the park to assist in continued event programming in a safe, outdoor setting.
- HBID boulevard tree replacements along the 400 Block of Last Chance Gulch (2020) – Replaced all of the old tree to help beautify the commercial block.
- Placer Building Façade Improvements (2021) – Funding granted to replace the deteriorating French doors as a façade and safety improvement for the historic building’s tenants.
- Seeley Building and Dowling Architects Building Sidewalk Improvements (2021) – Match funding provider to property developers to install sidewalk and pedestrian amenity improvements for properties along Last Chance Gulch.
- Consistory Shrine Temple Feasibility Study (2021) – Funding was granted for a feasibility study on the former Ming Opera House and Helena Tractor and Power Building for future use of the structures owned by the Consistory Shrine Temple Association.
- B&B Market and Rodney Street Laundry Parking Lot Projects (2021) – Funding was provided to install parking lots in the Rodney Street commercial district.
- 317 Cruse Pedestrian & Landscaping Project (2022) – Funding was awarded to assist with the installation of an ADA access ramp and install xeriscaping along the corner of 6th and Cruse Avenues.
- Penwell Building Accessibility & Façade Improvements (2022) – Funding was awarded to assist with the exterior façade improvements, creating accessible entrances, installing an elevator, and retrofitting bathrooms to be accessible in the Penwell Building located at 34 W. 6th Avenue.
- Union Market Building Water & Sidewalk Infrastructure Improvements (2022) – Funding was granted to replace an aging lead water service line that serves six commercial units in an historic block located at 101 E. 6th Avenue as well as adjacent sidewalks along the building’s Jackson Street frontage.
Click Here to View TIF Project Map
For additional information on the Downtown Urban Renewal District, please contact the City Community Development Department, City of Helena, 316 N. Park Avenue, Room 445, Helena, MT 59623, phone: (406) 447-8490, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.