Building permits increase in Routt

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The value of new construction projects in Routt County this year has outpaced 2004, and the increase is attributable to residential, not commercial construction.

The Routt County Regional Building Department has rel-eased its report for the first five months of the year, showing that permits with a combined value of more than $70 million have been issued in 2005. A year ago on this date, the construction valuation was $31.5 million.

"I'm discovering it's being driven by single-family, duplex- and multi-family housing," buil-ding official Carl Dunham said.

Dunham said his projections suggest the valuation of building permits issued in the city and county (including the towns of Hayden, Oak Creek and Yampa) in 2005 could go as high as $177 million. That compares to $156 million in 2004.

"I think we'll probably be ahead of last year," Dunham said.

Construction valuation for building-permit purposes is a conservative estimate of the cost of building. It does not directly reflect actual market prices. Through May, the Building Department had issued 191 permits compared to 37 by the same date in 2004.

The biggest construction year on record was 1998, when permits valued at $203.6 million were issued. That was the year the high school addition, Yampa Valley Medical Center, the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel and the new Sheraton Steamboat Resort condominium tower were built.

Of the $70 million in permitted construction through May, just $6.4 million was attributable to commercial and industrial construction projects, Dunham said. His office issued 116 permits for single-family homes and duplexes in March, April and May. The 50 permits issued in March far exceeded the norm, Dunham said. They were attributable in part to developers who submitted the preceding fall to beat a city deadline related to a change in the development code.

The two new shopping centers bracketing Mount Werner Road were on the books in 2004. Tenant finishes at those projects have and likely will continue to add to commercial activity, Dunham said.

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