Well, here we go. It’s finally time for me to create some space in my head for new info, so I’ve decided to share my crazy thoughts and ideas about real estate in Billings, the effects new infrastructure like the inner belt loop have on it, and the larger real estate market as a whole.  So, I will dust off my writing skills, shoot some videos occasionally, and pass along what I have learned in my real estate career in Billings and Montana.   

As someone who grew up in Billings, I have experienced the change that growth brings. Is growth bad? I am not sure I can map that well enough into words that provide a soft landing on yes or no. So, I will say it’s happening here in Billings. I think a couple of examples of that growth and the infrastructure that follows it are worth chatting about.

The Billings inner belt loop is the first one I want to talk about. As a native of the heights (Skyview class of ’91), I vividly remember the drive from our home in the Heights to the 24th St W retail corridor being the long way around. This new road connecting the heights to that same corridor, and now further west, will allow for more direct travel from the heights to the west end and vice versa.

Heights arial w/o inner belt loop

overhead map view of the Billings heights relative to the rest of the city
Overhead View of the heights, and the raw ground to the west where the inner belt loop is set to open in summer ’24.

In my youthful, innocent high school days, this route would have required a four-wheel drive for the rough terrain and wire cutters to move from pasture to pasture. In 2023, dozers and road graders cut through that ground and prepped the road and bike trail for asphalt, which is set to happen in the coming months. That empty spot where nothing’s been going on is about to become one of the two growth hotspots in Billings’ future.

Billings inner belt loop from Wicks Ln to Zimmerman Trl

I wonder if the folks in the Heights will be as excited about this new connection and the change it brings. Back in 1890, Joseph Zimmerman, a sheepherder, was thrilled to reach the top of the rims without the long detour. This new route could be just as significant for our cars today as it was for his sheep back then.