Boosted by construction of a new Wal-Mart store at 33rd and Iowa, the November building permit valuation total topped $7 million, its highest level since spring.
The building permit that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. obtained for its new 122,000-square-foot store accounted for $3.7 million of the monthly valuation total, according to a report released this morning by the city building inspection office.
Residential construction activity, which has set records this year, continued strong during November, when 21 permits for new homes were issued. Those permits contributed more than $2.1 million to the monthly total.
The $7,054,547 valuation total for November dwarfed the monthly total a year earlier when the November figure was $4,572,660.
Valuation represents the estimated cost of construction, exclusive of land costs.
GENE SHAUGHNESSY, the city's chief building inspector, said 1992's construction totals were a reflection of a strong local construction industry.
"We've just had another tremendous year in all categories when you look at residential and commercial," he said. "We're lucky to be in Lawrence, Kansas isn't that what the bumper sticker says?"
For the first 11 months of 1992, the valuation of building permits issued by the city totaled $69,360,732, compared with $56,260,612 for the comparable period in 1991.
Shaughnessy said he didn't expect to write any permits for large commercial projects during December but that his office still was processing applications for residential construction permits.
IT'S LIKELY, he said, that the valuation total for all of 1992 will surpass the $70.6 million total for 1987, the second strongest year the Lawrence construction industry has ever had. The record belongs to 1988, when the building permit valuation total was $75.7 million.
Shaughnessy noted that 1992 already has claimed the record for the number of new single-family homes built in the city during any one year. In October, the total for one-family home permits passed 384, the record set in 1977. Through November, the total was 410.
For all of 1991, the building permit total for single-family homes was 339.