15 new commercial buildings, 100 new single-family residential dwellings added in 2017.
By Kaija Swisher Black Hills Pioneer
SPEARFISH — With nearly $52 million, the city of Spearfish hit a new record in building project valuations in 2017.
“This is great news for the city of Spearfish,” Tom Paisley, city building official, said of the record $51,989,447.50 total building project valuation, representing 439 various types of building permits.
In 2016, the building project valuations totaled $43,778,969.81, with 453 permits issued; in 2015, the total building project valuations was $46,350,137.83, with 458 permits issued. The city hit its previous record in 2014, with total valuation of $49,103,173, reflecting 513 total permits. In 2013, there was approximately $36 million in total valuation, and construction valuations totals were close in 2010, 2012, and 2013, with a dip in 2011, reflecting 44 new single-family homes and total construction valuation around $18.7 million. Since 1991, the next closest record for total new construction value was 2004, at approximately $44 million.
Paisley explained that the numbers for total project valuation come from an estimated cost of each project that requires a building permit, and permits are usually required for new buildings, additions, alterations, and repairs.
“(In 2017) we saw a good balance of both residential and commercial projects,” he said.
The 100 new single-family residential dwellings included in the total, representing 79 new residential dwellings and 21 manufactured home placements, were valued at $24,348,948.
“On the residential side, there has been a constant high demand for new homes over the last five years,” Mayor Dana Boke said. “Spearfish is drawing in both new families and retirement couples. I believe the reason for this is multifaceted. The university brings a youthful energy to our community, and having quality schools and health care contribute to the decision to move to Spearfish. Of course, living in a beautiful place with diverse recreational and cultural activities brings a quality of life that few can match.”
“We also saw several large commercial projects (in 2017), such as the new building that is currently under construction on the corner of Main Street and Jackson Boulevard,” Paisley said. “We are currently reviewing and inspecting the interior tenant finish plans for that project, which will include a brewery, a new restaurant, and office space. Other large projects included the St. Joseph Catholic Church Newman Center, Knecht’s Ace Hardware, Recreation Station, an addition to Countryside Community Church, new interior office space at the city-owned Atlas Building, and a few significant remodels at the Birch and Maple Apartments.”
The 15 new commercial buildings are valued at $14,952,317, with 62 commercial alterations and nine commercial additions valued at $8,312,103.
“On the commercial side, our new and existing businesses are confident in the economy of Spearfish,” Boke said. “They are remodeling, growing, and expanding to meet the needs of the market.”
Overall, $279,606.80 was collected in building permit fees, along with $73,600 in utility hookup fees.
Paisley said that 2018 is also looking like it will be another busy year in terms of construction.
“There are several new developments underway, and there will be more buildable lots with the development of Top Shelf, The Reserve phase 4, more lots at Elkhorn Ridge Golf Estates, new lots at the Village at Creekside, and exciting news recently near Exit 10 with (Regional Health’s) announcement (to build a new health care campus),” he said.
Paisley added that 2018 is an important year for the Building Department, as the city will be adopting the 2018 edition of the International Building Code, residential code, fire code, mechanical code, property maintenance code, existing building code, and mechanical code.
“It is important for us to adopt the most recent editions of these codes to ensure that new construction in our community is built to the most recent standards for fire and life safety,” he said. “The public has an expectation of building safety. That expectation of safety is a result of what building officials and inspectors do every day.”
Paisley said that the department strives to make the building permit process as easy as possible, with plans submitted and reviewed for code compliance.
“After the plans have been approved, then our inspectors perform several inspections during the construction phase, which include structural, HVAC, fire, plumbing, and final inspections prior to occupancy,” he said.
Paisley explained that it is important for the public to realize the importance of building inspection.
“We enforce minimum building code standards to ensure the homes we live in and the businesses we enter are safe,” he said.
The Building Department works closely with other departments, including Planning and Zoning, Engineering, and Floodplain, along with the State Electrical Commission, State Plumbing Commission, state Health Department, State Fire Marshall, and South Dakota Department of Energy and Natural Resources.
“It is a team effort that provides minimum standards for safety in the built environment,” Paisley said. “We are also fortunate to have some very incredible contractors in our area that make our jobs easier.”
He added his compliments to the staff at the Building Department, including Mary Burket, Erica Bussiere, Dennis Hafner, Brian Ulmer, and Scott Deaver.
The Building and Development office can be reached at 642-1335. More information is also available at www.cityofspearfish.com.