You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Construction projects up by $6.3M


The value of construction projects in Springfield rose about $6.3 million last year, a sign the area’s economy is slowly improving.

The city issued 1,645 building, renovation and other permits last year for projects valued at about $29 million in total, according to public documents from the building regulations department.

In 2011, the city issued about 1,580 permits for projects valued at about $22.7 million in total.

That growth is a good sign, said Shannon Meadows, the city’s community development director.

“Regionally, we’re starting to see a bit of a recovery, seeing investment and reinvestment in commercial enhancement … 2012 showed some positive indicators and we look forward to carrying that into 2013,” she said.

Commercial construction accounted for the gains. The city saw about $26.2 million in commercial project values, up from $19.6 million in 2011. Residential development saw about $2.7 million of project values in 2012, a slight drop from the 2011 total of $3.1 million.

“We’re heading in the right direction,” said Kent Sherry, the executive director of the Building Industry Association of Clark County.

Sherry said he’s cautiously optimistic gains will be made in the construction industry this year.

“I don’t see tremendous gains,” Sherry said. “It will be pretty much in line with what we’re seeing across the country, which would be sort of a slow comeback. We are starting to see some new housing growth out there, but not speculation homes.”

One of the key factors in the increased project values was the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Meadows said. The city has received $8.5 million since 2009 through two phases of the federal grant program, which was designed to aid communities rocked by waves of abandoned, foreclosed houses that can lead to lower property values and safety concerns for neighborhoods.

Some of those properties, like the Neighborhood Housing Partnership’s $1.8 million City View Apartments for seniors, are considered commercial because they have more than four units.

Other large investments came from the $10 million mental health hospital, the $7.9 million Rocking Horse Center expansion and the $5.5 million Ohio Valley Medical Center’s ortho-spine institute.

Two area McDonald’s locations also were remodeled, and a new Family Dollar opened on East Street. Downtown, the Turner Foundation has worked on a $100,000 renovation of the former Meeks building on Fountain Avenue that now houses Fair Trade Winds, Running with Scissors Creative Collective and Doug Frates Glass studio.

The Wright-Patt Credit Union also began construction last year of a new building on Bechtle Avenue because it needed to expand.

“It’s a good indicator of a community that’s headed in the right direction,” Meadows said.

The Rocking Horse Center also received grant money from the Health Resources and Services Administration, according to CEO Dana Engle.

“We needed to expand because there’s a lot of need in the community that we’re not able to meet with our existing facilities,” Engle said. “We were just strapped for space and we had the funding to move forward with it. Those two things really dictated it.”

The city hopes to issue the same number of permits and possibly more this year, Meadows said, but a lot of that depends on investors within the community. Two housing developments, including the $7.3 million Hayden House — a senior living development — and the $5.5 million Mulberry Terrace — an Interfaith Hospitality Network development designed to keep people and families out of homelessness — will begin construction this year.

Pete Noonan of Midland Properties, a local developer, said the commercial market improved in 2012.

“There’s no question the economy is strengthening with regards to real estate and commercial real estate,” Noonan said. “We’re certainly seeing improvement. There’s more activity, more business being done.”

But while interest rates are improving, Noonan said, banks remain careful about lending, especially commercial lending.

“They’re doing it, which is a good thing,” he said. “Interest rates are attractive if you’ve got a project that makes sense.”

Noonan hopes the market will continue to improve, but believes it will be a slow recovery, especially in an area like Springfield.

“We’re not growing, so demand is really for replacement, as much as anything, and not new construction,” Noonan said.

The city issued 73 combined commercial and residential demolition permits last year, compared to 99 in 2011.

Meadows said she expects the number of demolitions to increase this year with the infusion of nearly $943,000 awarded to the city and Clark County as part of the Moving Ohio Forward project.

The city expects to demolish about 125 blighted homes with those dollars this year, some of which were used to begin demolitions last year.

“We’ll be aggressive in getting demolitions that are ready to proceed accomplished,” Meadows said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Miamisburg candy store now selling pickle juice soda
Miamisburg candy store now selling pickle juice soda

Are you ready for Pickle Juice Soda Pop? Miamisburg-based Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop is now selling dill pickle-flavored pop in stores and online. The vintage-style store at 42 South Main St. in downtown Miamisburg has more than 200 bottles of specialty sodas. “If you’re the kind of pickle lover who relishes all things pickled, this...
Waffle House co-founder dies a month after business partner
Waffle House co-founder dies a month after business partner

Both of the founders of Waffle House have died, just two months apart. Co-founder Tom Forkner died earlier this week at 98 years old, just two months after his business partner Joe Rogers Sr. died in early March. Rogers was 97 years old. “Tom will be remembered as a man of honesty and integrity,” Waffle House Chairman Joe Rogers Jr...
Ohio’s largest 100 employers in 2017: Walmart tops the list
Ohio’s largest 100 employers in 2017: Walmart tops the list

Walmart is back on top as Ohio’s biggest employer, regaining the No. 1 spot from the Cleveland Clinic, which usurped the giant Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer last year, according to a new list of the state’s top 100 employers. Walmart — with 173 retail operations, including nearly two dozen in the Dayton area — has 50,500...
PHOTOS: Nearly $1M Washington Twp. home for sale
PHOTOS: Nearly $1M Washington Twp. home for sale

A Washington Twp. house that features panoramic views of a wooded lawn is on sale for nearly $1 million. The home, located at 10765 Falls Creek Lane in the Waterbury Woods subdivision, is listed for $999,000 by Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors. It sits on three-fourths of an acre property on a cul-de-sac. The 8,350 square feet of living space features...
Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations
Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations

Negotiations between southwest Ohio’s largest health system, Dayton-based Premier Health, and UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurance company, remained at a standstill Thursday with the first deadline for their contract to expire rapidly approaching. UnitedHealthcare’s contract with Premier hospitals is set to expire...
More Stories