Summit County construction slows down in 2015
While construction numbers indicated that 2014 was a turn-around year in Summit County, those same figures indicate construction slowed down in 2015.
According to the Summit County Building Department, the total construction valuation as of Nov. 30 from 918 permits was roughly $10 million less than what was posted in 2014. However, more than 100 more permits were issued in 2015 than were issued during the same time frame last year and officials still say it is another record-breaking year.
"Last year we had major hotel and condo projects such as Bear Hollow that had 46 units. It was the peak of the last seven years," said Leslie Rushton, building secretary, of 2015. "We have just as many permits and as many inspections this year, but the projects just aren’t as huge."
The county’s building department has posted nine months exceeding $10 million in 2015. In September alone, 112 permits were issued totaling more than $12.9 million.
In 2015, permits were issued for the following: Boy Scout Ranch near Bear River, townhomes for Blackstone at Canyons, Canyon’s Ski Maintenance Facility and several multi-million dollar residences and condominiums. The building department issued a $4.5 million permit for the Boy Scout Ranch, which will be located near the East Fork of Bear River in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and construction of the townhomes is valued at nearly $3 million.
Most of the construction throughout the past few years has been located on the West Side of the county, particularly in the Snyderville Basin, with ground broken on several new homes. Relatively few permits have been issued in North and South Summit.
In June, the building department issued a permit for a single family home on White Pine Canyon Road valued at $3.4 million. In September, two permits were issued for homes on White Pine Canyon Road totaling nearly $2 million. More than 230 new dwelling permits were issued in 2015.
The project load has prompted the county to hire additional personnel to meet the demand. The Summit County Council considered adding another employee to the building department during a recent discussion about the coming year’s budget.
"It has helped a lot to have an additional inspector," Rushton said. "Instead of having to have a contract inspector come out, which the county ends up paying double for, we have been able to keep our inspector’s busy."
Rushton said according to several architects, "they are going to bring in a lot of projects at the first of the year to start building the spring so we are assuming another big year."
"We will just have to kind of wait and see what happens next year," Rushton said. "I know planning is busy with a lot of projects and when that gets finished it will move toward the building phase. We will just have to hope that the economy will stay good."
The construction industry in Summit County has noticeably rebounded since the economy fell in 2007, with numbers more than doubling over the last five years and several large developments being completed.
In 2016, multiple projects will be under review, including the Silver Creek Village, Canyon Corners and the new Skullcandy facility at the Park City Tech Center.
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After previous failed attempts, the South Summit High School Gay-Straight Alliance met for the first time Oct. 1.