BUTTE - When Frank Stevens bought the lot where the Stevens building is over 130 years ago, he paid $400 for it. Well, the new owners of the Stevens Building hope to keep Frank’s legacy alive, although they did pay quite a bit more than he did.
“Ah, yeah, add a couple zeros to that and you can see the appreciation of real estate in Butte is a great deal right now,” said Copper Development CEO Ronnie Estes.
Butte business owner Carrie Fisher sold the Stevens Building to Copper Development recently. The company plans to remodel the top two floors and make them into 16 one-bedroom apartments, two studio apartments, and three large two-bedroom units.
Fisher will continue to run her two restaurants out of the building and let a developer restore the rest of the building.
“I feel like I have a responsibility to the building, to our community, to our community’s history to not just let a building sit there, that’s so important to me that the building’s developed and we’re not just sitting on it,” said Fisher.
Estes added, “We’re here to save historical buildings, we’re here to save the history. We do our best to save everything we can to keep it out of the landfills and to keep it as original as possible.”
The developer has restored other historic buildings with the idea that more people want to live Uptown.
“People are starting to come back to urban areas and occupy Uptown due to the fact that everything’s here,” said Estes.
They are confident Butte is on an economic upswing.
“This is going to be a huge addition to the city down here and I think it's going to bring a lot of money and new businesses down here as well,” said Copper Development President Chris Norman.
They hope to have it ready by early 2024.