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City sees jump in 2016 construction projects

A building crew from Vercon sets rafters on the front of the new GroupWorks facility under construction on Hollinger Street in Park Rapids. (Kevin Cederstrom/Enterprise)

Park Rapids City Planner Ryan Mathisrud called 2016 a busy year in building activity and expects that to carry over into 2017.

The planning department issued permits for $10 million in valuation for construction projects last year, according to information presented to the city council.

In 2015, the city saw $5.6 million in projects which was around the average $5.7 million the city has seen since 2009. Commercial construction, including a 29-unit apartment building on Pleasant Avenue, accounted for a large increase in 2016. Mathisrud reports most other categories saw an increase as well which, he says, may indicate more people are investing in the community.

Some of the larger commercial projects noted in 2016 include private development at the city airport. Park Rapids Aviation built a new 80-by-100-foot paint shop, with an estimated value of $750,000, to provide paint services for larger aircraft. Park Rapids Avionics also built a new hangar at the airport in 2016.

Other commercial projects noted by Mathisrud as examples of the 2016 construction activity include a new building for Affinity Real Estate, renovation of T&M Express and a new facility currently under construction for GroupWorks. The mental health services provider broke ground in 2016 on a 6,000-square-foot building located on Hollinger Street. Construction will continue through spring and the business will relocate from its existing facility on Highway 34.

Four single family homes — with total valuation of $718,482 — were constructed in 2016. The city has averaged four new homes over the last eight years, according to Mathisrud's report. There were 99 residential remodels permitted in 2016 at a value of $1,006,330. The building permit valuation report also shows four commercial remodels valued at $2,068,000 and 29 commercial remodels for $2,832,856 in 2016.

City staff also processed 11 development applications that were brought to the planning commission and city council in 2016, compared to nine in 2015.