Builders pick up dormant projects, create surge in permits issued by Summit County |

Builders pick up dormant projects, create surge in permits issued by Summit County

If 2014 was any indication of what to expect from the construction industry in the upcoming year, Summit County’s Building Department can expect to stay busy.

The total construction valuation as of Nov. 30 from 816 permits issued was $157,265,373. Approximately 200 more permits were issued in 2014 than were issued during the same time frame last year. In November alone, the building department issued 68 new permits, in excess of $14.7 million.

"Last year was kind of a turn-around year, but this year, it’s just really kind of skyrocketed," Summit County Chief Building Official Robert Taylor said, adding that interest in dormant projects has contributed to the surge in permits.

With both commercial and residential real estate growth powering the local industry, the county’s building department has posted nine consecutive $10 million-plus months since February.

In 2014, permits were issued for the following projects: Wyndham Vacation Resort Hotel at the Canyons; Newpark Condominiums, Bear Hollow Condominiums; Promontory Clubhouse; High West Distillery in Wanship; Cloud Dine remodel at the Canyons; and the Tanger Outlets expansion. The building department issued a permit valued at $2.7 million for the Tanger Outlets expansion on Aug. 6 and construction of the Newpark Condominiums, which will include 60 units, was valued at $9.3 million.

"What’s really driving everything that is happening up here is the Snyderville Basin," Taylor said.

Most of the permits issued in 2014 were for projects on the West Side of the county, specifically in the Snyderville Basin, where more than 600 permits were issued.

"It’s pretty encouraging for those of us who have lived, slept and worked here for so long to finally see these improvements," Taylor said. "And we expect that to continue."

Ground was broken on more than 50 homes in 2014, with several new dwelling permits for multi-million dollar homes in the Snyderville Basin.

In October and November, the building department issued four permits for homes totaling $4.9 million. Three of the houses are in White Pine Canyon. In November, the building department issued 15 permits for homes totaling more than $7 million.

As of Nov. 30, the building department had performed 13,052 inspections, with an average of 13 inspections per day, nearly doubling the number from last year, Taylor said.

The booming construction industry and its effect on the building department’s services, prompted County Manager Bob Jasper to suggest additional personnel to keep up with the demand, requesting two full-time positions be added.

"Their numbers are nearly double what they were last year," Jasper said last month when he recommended a budget to the County Council. "They need more people to handle the volume."

The upcoming 2015 construction year "looks to be good, if not a little better" than 2014, says Taylor.

"There are some larger projects in the pipeline, including some larger residential and mixed-use developments that are working their way through the development review process," Taylor said.