The Park City construction industry enjoyed a strong April as permits for new houses pushed up the monthly tally while additions and remodels continued to add to the numbers, a building tear that is expected to remain intact in coming months.
The Park City Building Department in April issued 125 permits worth a little more than $12.6 million combined. The number was up sharply, an approximately ninefold increase, from the previous month. It was also more than double the previous April.
The April tally ranked second in dollar value this year, trailing only the more than $17.4 million worth of permits issued in an extraordinary January. The April dollar figure followed two consecutive down months, neither of them reaching $2.5 million.
The year-to-date figure sat at nearly $33.9 million at the end of April, the Building Department said. The tally nearly triples the number through the same period in 2013, when approximately $11.4 million worth of permits had been issued.
According to the Building Department, six permits were issued to build new houses. The work is valued at a little more than $6.5 million combined. The permits included one on the 3800 block of Rising Star Lane, valued at a little bit more than $2 million, and one on the 2400 block of Country Lane that is pegged at just less than $1.1 million.
The Building Department, meanwhile, issued 100 permits for alterations or additions. They were valued at approximately $5.9 million. Most of the permits were for residential properties. One of them, issued for a remodel on the 8700 block of Marsac Avenue, is valued at $1 million.
Alterations and additions have had an outsized impact on Park City's construction numbers since the onset of the recession as owners chose to work on existing properties instead of building new ones.
Another permit of note issued in April allows grading at the site where the Stein Eriksen Residences will be built on the 7100 block of Silver Lake Drive. The permit is pegged at $65,000. The building permit itself will be far more valuable when it is issued. It is expected to be granted this year.
The Building Department, meanwhile, put a value of $24,500 on the recent move of the historic Rio Grande building on Park Avenue. It will be brought back to the site later as part of a new development.
The number of electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits was mixed compared to the previous month and the previous April. The Building Department conducted an average of 57 inspections per day in April, a slightly higher average than in March but a slight drop from the previous April.
The Park City construction industry is posting strong numbers in 2014 as the community continues a bounce back from the depths of the recession. The numbers, though, have not reached the record-setting pace in the years between the 2002 Winter Olympics and the onset of the downturn. The recession struck at a time when construction was expected to level off in Park City anyway as the number of major development parcels inside the city limits dwindled.
It seems likely the 2014 numbers could climb significantly in coming months as several large projects obtain building permits. Chad Root, the chief building official at City Hall, said he anticipates the Stein Eriksen Residences development in Deer Valley and the Rio Grande project in Old Town will receive permits this year.
He said a first phase of the Park City Film Studios will also receive a permit this year, but the bulk of the dollar value of the construction at the Quinn's Junction facility is expected to be tallied in 2015.
Root said the Building Department this year has received a series of complaints about what people see as slow progress at construction sites.
Root provided an update to the Park City Planning Commission Wednesday night, touching on topics like the different types of fences used at construction sites and a prohibition at some locations barring crew members from parking at the site. Panel members asked about the work along Main Street, replanting after a project is built and the challenges posed by some construction sites.
Additions add up
Some of the alteration or addition permits valued in the six figures issued by the Park City Building Department in April included: