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Lawrence homebuilding totals up nearly 30 percent for first 11 months of 2012


I don’t know about you, but I’ve been experiencing building permit withdrawal symptoms. Since about June, I’ve been unable to report any new building permit data for you because the city was having some issues with its new permit software and its ability to print reports.

(I’m assuming that is why I’ve had occasional sleepwalking bouts where I end up in my shop with a hammer and a mangled 2X4, but perhaps something else is going on there.)

Regardless, the city has gotten its report issue fixed, and we have new data to share. And for once, there is some good news in it for Lawrence homebuilders.

Through November, homebuilding activity is up about 27 percent compared to the same period a year ago. In fact, the number of single-family and duplex homes are at their second highest total since 2008.

The city has issued permits for 124 single-family or duplex projects, up from 97 in 2011. The 2012 numbers still trail the 157 permits issued during the same time period in 2010, but that was back when builders thought the first-time homebuyers credit had turned the market around. Interestingly, the 2012 numbers are ahead of the 2008 numbers, which is back before the national economy turned sour.

If November is any indication, builders are finishing the year with some momentum. The city issued 15 permits for single-family and duplex construction, which is more than double the average of 5.25 permits for the previous four years. (I feel for that guy who got the 0.25 of a house.)

When you look at the total construction picture in Lawrence — residential plus commercial — the numbers aren’t quite as good. Through November, the city has issued permits totaling $92.68 million, which is down about 14 percent from the same period a year ago. The $92 million mark of this year is still the fourth lowest total of the last five years, coming in ahead of only the dismal 2009 season.

But again, builders had some momentum in November. The city issued permits for $10.01 million worth of projects during the month, including three commercial projects valued at $1 million or more. They were: $1.645 million for the new Briggs Dodge building at 2300 W. 29th Terrace; $1.304 million for a new metal salvage building for Advantage Metal Recycling at 1545 N. Third St.; and $1.304 million for a classroom addition at the St. John School at 1208 Kentucky St.

So far in 2012, the city has issued 16 permits valued at $1 million or more. The other projects are:

• $8.325 million for Westfield Place Apartments, 204 Eisenhower Drive.

• $4 million for the Lawrence Community Theatre, 4660 Bauer Farm Drive.

• $3.986 million for the Varsity House Apartments, 1043 Indiana St.

• $1.9 million for an addition to the Del Monte pet food plant, 727 N. Iowa St.

• $1.5 million for the Lawrence Memorial Hospital North Wing remodel.

• $1.4 million for Raintree Montessori School addition, 4601 Clinton Parkway.

• $1.4 million for the Hy-Vee C-Store, 3900 W. 24th Place.

• $1.3 million for a retail shell building that will house a Papa Murphy’s, a credit union and other tenants at 650 Congressional Drive.

• $1.235 million for a remodel of the Kia dealership, 1225 E. 23rd St.

• $1.2 million for a new Briggs Nissan dealership 2300 W. 29th Terrace.

• $1.1 million for a single-family dwelling at 1714 Lake Alvamar Drive.

• $1 million for a single-family dwelling at 133 Running Ridge Road.

• $1 million for a retail shell building at 4701 Bauer Farm Drive.

Those aren’t bad numbers considering that in future months there will be another $18 million in construction for the Lawrence Public Library project; $10 million-plus for a pair of multistory buildings at Ninth and New Hampshire streets; and perhaps $25 million for a new recreation center in northwest Lawrence.


Catalano 5 years, 6 months ago

Chad: Do they break the numbers down between single-family and duplex?

Hadley_says 5 years, 6 months ago

I have the same question Catalano. And along similar vein, does a duplex count of one equal one or two (or three or four) living units constructed.

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