Big spikes in construction last year in Springfield, Champaign County


The value of commercial building permits ballooned more than $50 million in Champaign County last year compared to 2016, and the city of Springfield also saw a spike due to large projects like Topre and investments at Wittenberg University.

The value of commercial permits is one signal of the amount of investment in the region, local leaders said, but they also noted various issues can affect the results year to year. Officials in both Clark and Champaign County said they’re expecting 2018 to be another strong year for investment.

MORE BUSINESS NEWS: Autonomous cars may cut workplace deaths, official says in Springfield

“2017 was a really strong year and I’m looking at 2018 to be even stronger,” said Jene Gaver, Springfield’s chief building official. He noted the city expects additional construction at Topre’s manufacturing site this year and more investment downtown.

The city of Springfield saw a big jump in construction values to about $29.3 million, up from about $11.3 million in 2016, according to information from the city.

Wittenberg kicked off a project last year to build a roughly $40 million indoor athletic facility and make improvements to some existing buildings.

And Topre, a Japanese manufacturing firm, began work on a $55 million dollar project to build a new manufacturing facility at the Champion City Business Park, a roughly 30-acre industrial site at the intersection of Lagonda and Belmont avenues.

DETAILS: Champaign County wind farm now wants 50 turbines, half of initial plan

The city saw 1,494 commercial construction permits filed in 2015 in Springfield, for a value of about $23.5 million, Gaver said. The next year, 1,564 permits were filed, but the value fell to about $11.3 million. Last year, 1,519 permits were filed in 2017, when the values rebounded to about $29.3 million.

Clark County, which has its own building department, saw a slight dip from about $16.3 million in 2016 to about $15 million last year, although local officials said the majority of investment in Clark County usually takes place in the city limits.

The value of construction permits filed with Champaign County’s building regulations department was about $31.3 million in 2016. But that number swelled to more than $83.4 million last year, due largely to major projects like new construction at Urbana City Schools, investments at local medical facilities and a roughly $12 million project by Navistar to build a new distribution center on Phoenix Drive.

MORE: Upward purchases Dayton-area graphics firm

“We are looking forward to further investment opportunities in 2018,” said Marcia Bailey, economic development director for the Champaign Economic Partnership. “The clean-up of the former Q3 JMC property on Miami St. is on track to be ready for redevelopment in 2018. This is a great asset to Urbana and Champaign County. It is currently zoned for manufacturing with all utilities on site. We are anxious to continue working on the possibility of a new hotel and revitalization of Urbana North Elementary, South Elementary and the Douglas Hotel, along with the potential of continue growth of other existing businesses.”

READ MORE: Plan might find new use for Douglas Hotel, longtime Urbana eyesore

Several factors can skew the values, including if there happens to be a number of major projects in a given year. And the results depend on when the company or contractor pays for the permit that the construction value gets captured.

But more companies are investing in Clark County in recent years, said Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the Chamber of Greater Springfield.

“It’s a good sign, absolutely,” Hobbs said. “We are seeing more companies making investments in capital, which wouldn’t show up necessarily in building permits but we’re also seeing physical expansions as a result of increased capital.”

He’s optimistic 2018 will continue to bring additional investment to the region.

“I certainly feel that there is some momentum here,” Hobbs said. “We had a year last year with investment and job growth that are historic highs for us. Those are very good signs and I see no indication that in 2018 other than the fact it’s going to continue. Our pipeline is very strong right now both on the employment side and capital infrastructure.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Health care a top ballot box concern for older Ohioans
Health care a top ballot box concern for older Ohioans

The majority of Ohioans over the age of 50 say concerns about health care will affect their vote this fall. About 81 percent said health care is a “very important” issue when it comes to their vote for Congressional candidates this fall. About 80 percent said Social Security is a very important issue and 76 percent said Medicare is, according...
670-mph hyperloop from Ohio to Chicago moves closer with new regulations
670-mph hyperloop from Ohio to Chicago moves closer with new regulations

An exceptionally fast transportation system may be a step closer to Ohio. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) and German insurance company Munich Re said Monday that a set of core safety requirements and certification guidelines for the fledgling mode of transportation have been created. The hyperloop is expected to transport pods of...
A ‘clean’ meatloaf

Dear Heloise: I have a pretty good hint: When you MAKE MEATLOAF, the cleanup is a pain in the you-know-where. I spray the pan with any kind of cooking spray, then line it with foil. When you take the meatloaf out of the pan, there is very little cleanup. — Linda W., Bakersfield, Calif. ‘lettuce’ explain Dear Heloise: I buy iceberg...
Purina Nutrition moves distribution operation to Dayton site
Purina Nutrition moves distribution operation to Dayton site

Land O’Lakes Inc./Purina Animal Nutrition is in the early stages of anchoring a distribution operation near Dayton International Airport, occupying the second building built off Concorde Drive by NorthPoint Development. “We are a distribution center,” Teresa Devall, a warehouse manager for Land O’Lakes/Purina Feed, said Monday...
Ahead of winter snow, Ohio Department of Transportation is holding a job fair
Ahead of winter snow, Ohio Department of Transportation is holding a job fair

The Ohio Department of Transportation District 8 is holding a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. The winter seasonal positions are for all of the District 8 counties: Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Greene, Hamilton, Preble and Warren.  The job fair will be held at ODOT’s Hamilton County garage, 1400 East Seymour Avenue in Cincinnati...
More Stories