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Sioux Falls Sets Building Permit Record

City of Sioux Falls

The value of Sioux Falls building permits in March is higher than the city has ever seen in one month. It comes in at more than $110 million. That’s $20 million more than the previous record set in April two years ago, and that came from a partial permit for the events center. 

Let’s break down the numbers. Two years ago, construction valuation for building permits in Sioux Falls during March was $64.2 million. In 2014 it was $63.6 million.

This March it's $110,267,696. That’s more than the city has ever had in March or any other one-month period. Chief Building Official Ron Bell says the record is a combination of housing construction and commercial projects.

"It’s the same pattern that we’ve always seen that, as far as the number of permits, it’s always the residential that is 70 to 80 percent of those," Bell says. "What we’re seeing now is really large commercial projects – not huge ones – but those commercial projects that are $20 million, $15 million, $10 million at a time."

Bell says 10 major commercial projects account for $65.5 million already this year. He says other projects planned but not yet fully approved bring tens of millions more to Sioux Falls this summer.

In the first quarter, the City of Sioux Falls issued 1,967 building permits. He says some of those are for 133 new single-family homes in town, but many of them are permits for shingles in the aftermath of a major summer storm. Bell says repairs last year already brought in thousands of permits.

"We really didn’t realize that we were going to do 8,500 permits and about $80 million worth of construction valuations. We’ve seen hail storms before, but we’ve never seen it where there was that much damage to that many roofs in this town," Bell says.

The building official says he estimates around one third of the roofs damaged last summer need repair yet in 2015. He says ongoing efforts like that use local crews and bring in workers from other places.

"That’s just reshingling. Just look at construction in this town as a whole. I mean, the amount of construction is totally amazing," Bell says. "In 2015 at this point, we’re at 133 new single-family dwellings here within the city of Sioux Falls, and that compares to 103 and 141. That’s your homebuilders and their subcontractors and that’s all of the material suppliers. It just compounds where all of this is just great economic news."

Bell says projects of all sizes have economic impact beyond the city’s revenues. He says employing enough workers to complete the projects is a substantial boost to the construction industry.