The Park City Building Department in May issued a permit valued at a little less than $14.3 million for construction at the Park City Film Studios site at
The Park City Building Department in May issued a permit valued at a little less than $14.3 million for construction at the Park City Film Studios site at Quinn's Junction. The permit led the construction industry to its best year of the month. (Christopher Reeves/Park Record)

A high-dollar building permit for the Park City Film Studios led the construction industry to its best month of the year in May, the Park City Building Department said.

The industry is enjoying a strong year in 2014 after what was seen as a comeback year in 2013. There has been a steady mix of permits issued for large projects, houses and remodels this year. The May numbers were especially impressive.

According to the Building Department, 168 permits were issued in May with a combined value of just more than $24.5 million. The dollar figure nearly doubled the tally of April, which itself was a solid month. The May number was up sharply from the $5.8 million that was recorded in the same month the year before. It was also, by a wide margin, the biggest month of the year, easily topping the $17.4 million in January.

The Park City Film Studios permit had been anticipated for some time, but it was not clear which month it would be issued. The Building Department said the permit is valued at a little less than $14.3 million. The studio complex is under construction off S.R. 248, at the southwest corner of Quinn's Junction.

The wider construction industry enjoyed a solid month in May as well. The numbers even without the studio permit would have topped $10 million. The Building Department issued seven permits for houses, totaling a little more than $3.2 million combined.

It also issued 142 permits for alterations or additions. They totaled nearly $6.7 million combined. Most of the permits for alterations and additions involved residential properties. Alterations and additions have had an outsized impact on the building numbers since the recession as property owners decided to fix up or expand their places instead of building new ones.

The year-to-date dollar figure through the end of May sat at a little less than $58.4 million, more than triple the figure through the same period in 2013. Through the end of May 2013, the year-to-date tally was approximately $17.3 million.

Chad Root, the chief building official at City Hall, said in an interview he anticipates another high-dollar permit, possibly $10 million or more, will be issued for work at the Park City Film Studios site later in 2014. He said the permit would allow the developers to put up a building for special effects work. A cooling tower meant to ensure the equipment does not overheat will be part of the permit, he said.

Root, meanwhile, said he expects permits of significant value will also be issued this year for the Stein Eriksen Residences in Deer Valley. The permits will allow houses and condominiums.

"We're in a seller's market again instead of a buyer's market," Root said, adding that real estate in Park City is a "hot item right now."

Root anticipates the year-end construction figure will hit $100 million for the first time since 2008. The Building Department tallied $148.7 million in construction that year as the full effects of the recession had not yet struck Park City. The numbers fell precipitously, though, bottoming out at a little less than $41 million in 2011.

Some of the notable new construction projects issued permits in May included a house on the 2400 block of Iron Canyon Drive, a house on the 2400 block of Sunny Slopes Drive and a house on the 2700 block of American Saddler Drive.

The Building Department also issued a series of permits for remodels or additions, including one that reached into the seven figures. That permit, pegged at $1.5 million, allowed an addition and remodel on the 100 block of Webster Court.

Six-figure permits for remodels, additions or both included:

  • an addition and remodel valued at $500,000 on the 2700 block of Telemark Drive
  • an addition and remodel on Eagle View Court valued at $300,000
  • a remodel on the 2900 block of Deer Valley Drive valued at $510,000
  • an addition and remodel on the 2800 block of Lucky John Drive valued at $344,358.56
  • an interior remodel on the 2900 block of Estates Drive pegged at $200,000
  • a remodel on the 1800 block of Park Avenue valued at $298,455

There was a series of permits valued in the $100,000s also issued.

The Building Department, meanwhile, conducted an average of 60.86 inspections each day in May, up slightly from the daily average in the previous month and the previous May. The number of electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits was generally up from the previous month and the previous May.

The Park City construction industry has rebounded strongly from the depths of the recession. It will be difficult, though, for the industry to match the best years as the number of large development parcels inside the Park City limits dwindles. The recession hit at a time when the construction industry was anticipated to level off anyway.