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Big permit for Rock Chalk Park helps push city building totals to new highs
It remains to be seen how often we'll hear the Rock Chalk chant during this year's football season, but the traditional cheer is making quite a bit of noise in the Lawrence construction industry.
The latest building permit numbers are out, and the big Rock Chalk Park ship has come in. The city issued permits for a whopping $33 million worth of projects in August, led by a $25 million permit for the Rock Chalk Park sports complex near Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway.
For the year thus far, the city has issued permits for $148 million worth of projects. That's up 115 percent from the same period a year ago. What's even more impressive is that the $148 million total is more than what the city issued for all of 2012. In other words, builders have started more projects in the first eight months of 2013 than they did during the entire 12 months of 2012. In fact, it is not even that close. The city issued permits for just under $100 million worth of projects in 2012.
So, from that standpoint, the final four months of the year will look a lot like my Thanksgiving day suit — signs of gravy everywhere.
Here are some other facts and figures from the latest building permit report:
• Single-family home construction had another decent month. Builders took out 14 permits for single-family homes, up from 8 during the same period a year ago. Year-to-date, the city has issued permits for 114 single-family homes or duplexes. That's up 44 percent from the same period a year ago. One more decent month, and builders will have exceeded the total for all 2012, when 126 single family and duplex permits were issued.
• No new permits for apartment construction were issued in August, but apartment building in Lawrence is still having a booming year. Year-to-date, the city has issued permits for 374 living units, which is the highest total in at least the last five years.
• The city thus far in 2013 has issued permits for four projects that exceed $10 million in value. They are: The Rock Chalk Park sports complex at $31 million and counting; the Marriott TownPlace Hotel at Ninth and New Hampshire at $13.8 million; the apartment complex next to Walmart at 5100 W. Sixth St. at $13 million; and the city's recreation center at Rock Chalk Park at $10.5 million.