New homes, commercial projects big and small, nudge 2012 Crown Point totals

2013-03-02T17:41:00Z 2013-03-04T00:40:05Z New homes, commercial projects big and small, nudge 2012 Crown Point totalsSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | Construction costs of homes and businesses in the city last year topped 2011 by more than $10 million, helped by an increase in both the number and average cost of new single-family homes.

"We hope the economic rebound will continue to happen," said Planning Commissioner Christopher Meyer. The city's 2012 annual report showed a total $68.3 million in total construct for the year, compared to $57.8 million in 2011.

A total 167 permits were issued for new single-family homes in all of 2012, up from 107 in 2011. The average construction cost of a new home rose in that time to $260,029 from $249,738, according to information in the report compiled by the Planning and Building Department.

All housing construction permits, including single-family, condominiums and townhomes, added up to $43.4 million last year, compared to $31.5 million in 2011.

Not all the action was on the new home front.

Big-ticket projects including the $4.5 million Bickford Senior Living complex, a $3.5 million Lake County jail renovation, a $2.2 million Speedway gas station and the $1.2 million Centier Bank rebuild contributed to a total $14.5 million in commercial construction permitted in 2012.

The total last year was down from the 2011 commercial construction total of $18.6 million, and reflects widespread conditions, Meyers said.

"The commercial side hasn't fully rebounded," Meyers said.

The $87,000 building out of office space by counseling services provider New Leaf Resources was one of more than 40 smaller scale commercial construction projects to contribute to the 2012 total.

The Lansing-based nonprofit moved into a 2,750-square-foot condominium in the On Broadway complex on Broadway, after outgrowing a smaller unit in the same complex.

"We've grown considerably," said Terry Top, executive director.

A dozen therapists provide individual, marital and family counseling on a variety of issues, Top said.

The business chose Crown Point when it decided to expand beyond Lansing in 2006. 

"We felt the location was good. There were not a lot of other not-for-profit counseling agencies in the area, and the Broadway location gave us easy access to (Interstate) 65," Top said.

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