CROWN POINT | New home construction contributed to a healthy level of building activity in the city last year.
A total of 190 new housing starts were counted in the 2013 annual report issued in draft form by the Planning and Building Department. The report still is subject to approval by various city boards.
The number of building permits issued in 2013 for single-family homes edged upward from the previous year to top a five-year climb.
Builder confidence appeared bolstered by the city's amenities, including its picturesque downtown and location along Interstate 65 with interchanges at 109th Avenue and U.S. 231, Planning and Zoning Administrator Christopher Meyers said.
"Individuals like the hometown feel of our downtown square, and they like our (biking and hiking) trails and various other amenities," Meyers said.
The 109th Avenue interchange, built in 2010, opened a new gateway.
"Our citizens are positioned well in being in close proximity to Chicago and Indianapolis," Meyers said.
Commercial and industrial construction in 2013 was valued at about $14.98 million, helped by the $3.2 million remodel of the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center, a $1.7 million interior remodel by Franciscan St. Anthony Health and the $1.8 million construction of a Family Express gas station.
The 2013 total for commercial and industrial construction topped the previous year by just more than $200,000.
The value of all 2013 housing construction, including single-family, townhomes and duplexes, totaled $47.9 million, up from $43.4 million in 2012.
The city issued 178 building permits last year for single-family homes, up from 167 in 2012, according to the draft report.
Regency subdivision topped others last year for the number of single-family home permits issued, at 43. Ellendale Farm and Waterside Crossing each tallied 21 permits for single-family homes, with the remaining permits spread among various subdivisions, including White Hawk and White Hawk West with a total 16, Penn Oak and Pentwater with 12 each and Covington with 10, among others.
New home construction in Crown Point had peaked in 2005 with 295 single-family building permits issued. The number dropped to 249 in 2006 and then to 172 a year later, before plummeting to 72 in 2008 during a nationwide economic decline.
The number then began a steady climb upward, to 79 in 2009, 92 in 2010, 107 in 2011 and 167 in 2012.
The city's resilient housing market landed it a top spot in a 2013 quarterly report ranking municipalities in the Chicago-area market.
Crown Point was one of just two Northwest Indiana communities to make it into the MetroStudy report ranking the top 15 for new housing starts. The city ranked fifth, with neighboring St. John ranked fourth.