SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Halfway through 2021 and the city of Sioux Falls is already fast approaching last year’s record building permits.
Amazon’s $ 200 million permit in December pushed the city’s total building permits to over $ 900 million in 2020, shattering the previous record of $ 786 million set in 2018. Now, City officials say this new record might not last long.
“Will this be the year we break a billion dollars?” Jeff Eckhoff, director of planning and development services for the city of Sioux Falls, said.
That’s a large number that seemed like a distant target until the new 2020 record of $ 900 million and above.
Halfway through 2021, the city of Sioux Falls is already two-thirds of the way to breaking that record again.
“We are sweeping records, every record, whether it’s the total value of residential building permits, commercials,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken.
July ended with more than $ 607 million in building permits with some of the biggest increases in new apartment buildings.
âIf we look at the average of the last three years, we’re about twice what we were for apartments,â Eckhoff said.
“It really is a remarkable time for our industry and the rental industry in that we have so many people moving, moving into the area or selling a house, have nothing left to buy,” said South Dakota Multihousing Association Executive Director Denise Hanzlik said.
In some areas of Sioux Falls, apartment buildings are experiencing vacancy rates of 1%. Hanzlik says the industry is catching up, especially after delays related to last year’s pandemic.
âThe cost of construction has gone up, construction products have gone up, labor costs have gone up, these are huge engines,â Hanzlik said. “Some projects have actually been taken off the table because of the price increases.”
The higher cost of construction is also contributing to the increase in building permit totals this year, but city officials say the numbers really boil down to an overall acceleration in growth this year.
âIt’s everywhere actually,â Eckhoff said. âThe diversity of projects and the number of large-scale projects are really encouraging. “
âThe economy continues to thrive, the building continues to thrive, obviously we’re also working on the workforce, to make sure that by doing these projects and bringing businesses here, we have the jobs and the people to. do this work, âsaid Mayor TenHaken.
This includes the city’s building permit office where their staff have been incredibly busy trying to keep up with the growing number of permits this year. Eckoff says he hopes to add additional building permit staff in the city’s next budget cycle.