Another record July for building permits

By Bob Freund

Last month ranked as the busiest July on record for construction projects in Rochester, although the dollar value of the work was not as large as in some previous years.

The Rochester Building Safety Department issued 394 building permits during the month, or 12 percent more than the previous high for July, which was set last year. Once completed, the new construction will be valued at about $20.9 million. But that value was less than the same month in any of the three prior years, according to the department's latest report.

Home-building accounted for almost half of the newly approved construction. City inspectors issued permits for 63 single-family houses and three townhouses, valued at just less than $9.8 million.


As in past months, small remodeling jobs were numerous. The joint values of decks, additions, garages, outbuildings and interior projects together reached just less than $1 million.

But city inspectors also cleared several significant commercial and institutional building projects, led by a $1.8 million addition to the Olmsted County Waste to Energy Facility to house air pollution controls and other equipment, according to city information.

Ability Building Center also received a $1.4 million permit for an addition to its site at 14th Street and Valleyhigh Drive Northwest. The project was started earlier with a $100,000 permit for footings.

The city also issued a $914,000 permit to Calvary Episcopal Church in downtown Rochester for an addition and some remodeling work.

Meanwhile, on the city's north side, a second building in the West Century Plaza development in the 3100 block of Wellner Drive Northeast is getting under way at an estimated cost of $720,000.

Among other projects with city permits issued in July are:

Lighting and ceiling work at John Marshall High School, valued at $520,000.

Building for Boardwalk Auto in the 2700 block of the east frontage road for U.S. 52 North, $362,000.


Interior finishing for an office building in the 2700 block of Superior Drive Northwest, off West Circle Drive, $330,000. The latest permit raises the construction cost to close to $1.3 million.

Remodeling for the showroom of Rochester Ford-Toyota in the 4900 block of U.S. 52 North, $320,000.

Construction of a warehouse building in the 400 block of 20th Street Southeast, $310,000. The project previously had received an $80,000 permit for footings.

The number of building permits issued this year by the city through July 30 is 17 percent higher than at the end of July a year ago. The value of those permits is $150.2 million, down from $174.8 million a year earlier.

But new homes are going up faster than a year ago, with 556 permits issued this year showing construction value of $79.6 million, according to city figures.

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