Summit County officials say it’s another record-breaking year for construction
Summit County planners have stayed busy throughout the construction season with several major projects breaking ground and nearing completion simultaneously throughout the Snyderville Basin.
Officials say the county is looking to post another record-breaking year, mirroring pre-recession figures. The total construction valuation through Sept. 30 was $125 million from the 747 building permits that were issued. The permits generated $1.6 million in fees.
"Last year was a good year and this year has been too," said Robert Taylor, Summit County chief building official. "Right now we are about 40 percent up from last year and we statistically finished out 2014 up 98 percent from the previous year."
Through the end of September, approximately 14,015 building inspections had been completed, up from 10,182 at the same point last year, and inspectors are averaging 13 inspections a day compared to 10 in 2014.
"Park City and the county have pretty much recovered to pre-recession levels in terms of the number of permits and types of building going on," Taylor said. "As I look at my indicators and talk with my peers in the architectural industry and home building industry, everyone is booked out and big builders are turning work away.
"If I were to shake my Magic 8-ball, the outlook looks good and I think that’s what we will see for the remainder of this year," he said. "We still have people applying and trying to get started. This year hasn’t really tapered off or let off yet."
‘It’s mostly infill’
At least four projects, including the Hyatt House on State Road 224 and an interconnect gondola linking the two resorts formerly known as Canyons Resort and Park City Mountain Resort, will be wrapping up soon. Summit County staff is scheduled to make a visit to the gondola site sometime this month.
However, most of the development that has been taking place is infill, especially in Basin-area neighborhoods where close to 75 homes are being built, according to Summit County Community Development Director Pat Putt.
"It’s been a lot of remodels of existing residential units and expansions," Putt said. "If you just drive around, you aren’t going to see a lot of holes in the ground. But if you drive in some of these neighborhoods there are houses being built and a lot of it is in areas like Promontory."
About 50 homes are currently under construction in the Promontory Development, Putt said, adding some of those projects could take up to a year. Approximately 207 residential units have already been built in Promontory, while 892 are approved.
Another residential development, referred to as East Creek Ranch on the other side of Interstate 80, is also under rapid construction. The development, which occupies the former Woodside area, is platted for 66 residential units. Five have already been built.
"All of those lots were created 50 years ago," Putt said. "We had a discussion about modifying the location part of it, but the developer opted not to do that and we were required to move forward with the building permit. There are probably roughly a dozen homes under construction right now."
Two housing developments, Nevis at Newpark and Newpark Terrace, will also be nearing completion in the coming months, Putt said. Nevis at Newpark is located adjacent to the Cottonwood Partners office building near the Newpark Hotel and consists of 23 energy-efficient town homes. Nevis at Newpark is a 60-unit condominium complex.
The next several months
Putt said the amount of building taking place over the last two years is further indicative of the trajectory of the Summit County and Park City markets. As previously reported in The Park Record, the Park City Building Department posted projects totaling $106 million in assessed valuation through August.
"I think it clearly indicates a confidence in the quality of the building environment," Putt said. "If we really killed the golden goose we wouldn’t have people still wanting to be a part of it."
Putt said he doesn’t anticipate "any major holes in the ground" throughout the winter months like last year.
"Everyone is trying to get two things done: either a project fully wrapped up or they want to get out of the ground far enough so they can work into the winter months," Putt said.
The 2016 construction will be an opportunity for everyone to "take a big breath," Putt said, as multiple projects will be under review, including the Silver Creek Village, Canyon Corners and the new Skullcandy facility at the Park City Tech Center.
A former Summit County victim advocate who was facing a felony count of misusing public money pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.