St. Louis Park is on track to issue more building permits in 2013 than it has in any year since 2008—a year when the recession had yet to metastasize and severe summer storms caused a huge spike in re-sidings and re-roofings.
The city has issued 6,773 building permits as of Sept. 30, 13 percent more than the average number that have been issued in the past four years, 10 percent more than were issued at this time in 2012.
St. Louis Park’s inspections director, Brian Hoffman, attributed the spike to a resurgent economy in the commercial and residential sectors.
“People are saying, ‘It’s a good time to invest in our homes, interest rates are low for home loans,’” he said. “You’re seeing the vitality in the economy here in St. Louis Park.”
The valuation of permits issued in 2013 stands at $77 million, about half of which comes from big, commercial remodelings, such as office work for the Wells Fargo complex at Highways 394 and 169, a floor expansion at Methodist Hospital and a project at Gateway Assisted Living.“The other half of the dollar value is residential—small projects, people fixing up houses, putting on remodels, additions,” Hoffman said. “Unlike a developed suburb, we’re totally developed so everything’s basically re-development or improvements.”
City council member Steve Hallfin commended the city for the surge in building permits.
"St. Louis Park continues to be a forward thinking city that stays ahead of the curve when it comes to redevelopment," he wrote in an email, "and I think developers know there is a strong bang for their buck in SLP."