Park City's bellwether construction industry in 2013 enjoyed its best year since 2008, as measured by dollar value, the Park City Building Department indicated in its year-end report.
The industry throughout last year posted solid numbers as property owners put up new buildings or renovated or expanded existing ones. Last year was seen as somewhat of a comeback year for the construction industry even if the numbers did not approach the record-setting years between the 2002 Winter Olympics and the onset of the recession.
According to the report, the Building Department in 2013 issued permits with a combined value of nearly $75.5 million, up from the $63.4 million in value tallied in 2012. The figure last year nearly doubled from the worst year since the end of a construction boon in 2008. The industry in 2011 posted approximately $40.9 million.
Some of the key details from the report include:
The permits for alterations and additions to residential properties are especially notable. It was apparent from the Building Department's monthly reports last year that many property owners were either fixing up their places or expanding them as both the number of permits for alterations and additions and their value were unusually high.
The alterations and additions have played a more important role in the overall numbers since the recession. The recession struck at a time when Park City's construction numbers were anticipated to level off anyway as the number of large development parcels dwindled, leaving some owners with limited options beyond working with their existing properties.
"It just demonstrates the fact the economy is bouncing back," said Michelle Downard, the plan check coordinator in the Building Department.
Other details of the report include:
"All the building inspectors have full days," she said.
Geri Strand, the executive officer of the Park City Area Homebuilders Association, is pleased with the 2013 numbers. She noted the importance of remodels -- defined as alterations and additions in the Building Department report.
"They want to keep their land where their house is," she said about property owners who remodel their places, adding, "That keeps them there in Park City."
Strand said 2014 is promising for the Park City construction industry. She mentioned the Stein Eriksen Residences project in Deer Valley as one that could push up the numbers.
"We feel good about the movement . . . meaning that people are ready to start developing," Strand said.
The uptick in construction in 2013 was particularly notable along Main Street as crews worked on a series of projects on or just off the street. There was major work at some locations like the building once known as the Main Street Mall and the Silver Queen Hotel alongside numerous smaller construction sites.
The construction activity on Main Street prompted concerns toward the end of the year that business could be hurt along the street. City Hall, in an extraordinary move, ordered a construction shutdown during the busiest parts of the Sundance Film Festival in January to ensure the crews did not disrupt the festival operations.
Decade of construction
The construction industry in Park City in the last decade enjoyed an upswing, a downturn and then a comeback. The year-by-year dollar figures since 2003:
Source: Park City Building Department