The folks who brought you the Clarion Inn Copper King Hotel & Convention Center are embarking on a new, $4.6 million project.
Matt Nistler, his brother Ben and Rex Leipheimer, the developers behind the newly renovated hotel on South Harrison Avenue, are in the process of putting 42 new apartment units on the market.
That’s according to Matt Nistler, who said the group is building seven duplexes and seven fourplexes on land they own behind the Copper King to the west. The three acquired the land when they purchased the Copper King in 2015.
“We’re well into construction,” said Nistler, noting that one building has been erected so far and the foundations of about eight or nine are already in place.
The three businessmen plan to rent the units after they’re finished. The first apartment will hit the market in the beginning of August, Nistler said, and the rest are expected to go online in late fall.
About 900 square feet each, the apartments will have two bedrooms and one bathroom and will go for about $950 a month.
“This project is really going to be targeted to a senior-centered demographic,” said Nistler, adding that 28 of the units will offer ground-level access and garages that reside at the same elevation as the living area.
The Nistlers and Leipheimer have been involved in several development projects in Butte over the years, including the Columbia Gardens Estates, a 49-lot subdivision east of the Butte Convalescent Center and Continental Drive, and of course the Copper King hotel.
Nistler, who has been involved in “hundreds” of housing units in Butte, said he’s confident the new senior-friendly apartments make sense from an investment standpoint.
“We felt it was a niche we could fulfill,” he said of the targeted demographic.
With a median age hovering around 40.7, Butte like many Montana towns has an aging population, and with that population come specific housing needs. These needs are precisely what the three business partners are hoping to fulfill.
“We felt that there’s still demand for a specific type of apartment,” Nistler said, noting that the duplex and fourplex model can offer more privacy than large apartment buildings, in addition to ease of access.
In all, Nistler said, he’s “bullish” about the Butte economy and attributed that feeling to a positive atmosphere and sentiment within the community that’s focused on rejuvenation.
“We’ve bet on Butte and it’s treated us very well,” he said.
The Montana Standard was unable to reach to reach Leipheimer by press time Wednesday.