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SF 2015 Building Permit Values Break Record

Kealey Bultena
Mike Cooper announces building permit numbers for 2015 with Mayor Mike Huether and Ron Bell.

New numbers from Sioux Falls officials show 2015 now holds the record for building values. City officials say the year ended with $667 million dollars’ worth of construction projects around Sioux Falls. Those span from public-private projects to commercial buildings and different housing options. Leaders say people are building housing and commercial projects all over the city, and the growth isn’t concentrated in one area.

Sioux Falls issued nearly 3,000 fewer building permits in 2015 than the year before, but the value of those projects is higher than any other time. Leaders say the record in 2014 includes thousands of permits to replace roofs damaged by hail, but this year major commercial and residential projects are more valuable.

2015 shows building permits for single-family homes and townhouses up. Mike Cooper is the director of Planning and Building Services. He says empty-nesters and young people fuel the demand.

"Some of the younger population are choosing not to buy a house or live in a house right away," Cooper says. "They probably will at some future date, but to begin with they’re looking at different areas of the city that have apartments with amenities. They like to be close to parks. They like to be close to shopping, to the bike trail, those kind of things."

Cooper says townhomes are sometimes affordable housing options. Mayor Mike Huether says people are still coping with the effects of the housing crisis, so that contributes to interest in multi-family housing.

Apartment permit numbers are down from 2014. Last year the city approved 804 units. Leaders say they are set to approve another 600 units already this spring. 

In commercial construction, Chief Building Services Official Ron Bell says the city granted two dozen more plans in 2015 than the year before.

"For those 89 new commercial buildings, it was just about $179 million dollars and that was driven by Sanford Imagenetics, Republic National Distributing, Walmart, two schools at about $10 million apiece," Bell says.

Bell says commercial addition and remodeling permits total another $170 million dollars. He says developers expect more commercial projects from Avera Health and retail developers.

Rapid City leaders says ended the year with 219-million dollars in building permits. That makes 20-15 the third best for construction valuation.

Visit this linkto view details about building permits in 2015 and how they compare to years past.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).
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