New construction varies in local municipalities

2013-02-07T00:00:00Z 2014-06-21T21:17:10Z New construction varies in local municipalitiesChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
February 07, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Much like the residents who live in the region, the amount of new construction reported in 2012 in local municipalities is diverse.

For some communities, such as Valparaiso, the construction of new single-family homes was on the rise last year.

Valparaiso reported it issued 85 new single-family residential building permits in 2012, which is more than double the amount the city issued in 2011.

Valparaiso Building Commissioner Vicki Thrasher said the city developed a strategy to encourage more residential development by waiving some building permit fees for new single-family homes in 2011 and 2012.

Thrasher said new homes currently are under construction in several areas, including the Fairfield Greens neighborhood, which is being developed by Coolman Communities.

"There's a lot going on in Valparaiso," said Carol Carden, president of Coolman Communities.

She said the development company currently has 18 homes under construction in its neighborhoods. Six of those are going up in Fairfield Greens, Carden said.

Although residential construction has increased in the city, building permits for new commercial developments dropped from 15 in 2011 to six in 2012.

Schererville saw an increase in residential construction in 2012. The town generated 31 new single-family permits last year. Schererville issued 16 in 2011.

Town Council President Rob Guetzloff believes the Lake Central School Corp., a strong Parks and Recreation Department and a variety of retail businesses are among factors attracting new residents.

"Schererville always has a lot to offer," he said.

The town reported it issued 60 building permits in 2012 for commercial and industrial purposes. Those permits involved new developments and the remodeling of existing structures. According to the town, 51 commercial and industrial permits were issued in 2011.

In Winfield, single-family building permits dropped from 91 issued in 2011 to 80 in 2012, Winfield Building Administrator Thomas Richardson said.

Richardson said he is pleased with the home construction in 2012 in the town after noting there were only 59 single-family permits issued in 2010.

"For the size of the town and the manpower, it's super," he said.

In Merrillville and Munster, new construction stayed fairly consistent in 2011 and 2012.

Merrillville issued 17 new single-family permits in 2011 and 16 in 2012, according to the town.

"Hopefully it will be better," Merrillville Zoning Director Dorinda Gregor said of residential building this year.

New commercial permits dropped from four in 2011 to three in 2012 in the town.

Gregor said there are several large developments that are expected in Merrillville this year, including a new Dawn Food Products distribution center in the AmeriPlex at the Crossroads development.

Statistics from Munster show 18 new single-family permits were issued in both 2011 and 2012.

Clay Johnson, assistant to Munster's town manager, said additional home construction could occur in the town in 2013.

Johnson said Munster is fairly "built out," but there are some residential areas where growth could occur.

The 26 commercial permits generated in 2012 in Munster was one more than the town issued in 2011.

Those permits include new developments and the remodeling of existing structures, according to Munster's Community Development Department.

Crete issued no new residential building permits in 2011 or 2012, said Michael Smith, the village's director of building and economic development. Crete issued two new commercial building permits in each of those years.

While the economy "certainly affects" the lack of new residential construction, Smith said there have been other factors.

He believes many homes became available through the foreclosure process.

Smith said it may have been more enticing for some companies to purchase and renovate existing homes than to build new residences.

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About Valparaiso

City of Valparaiso
166 Lincolnway Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 462-1161

Police Department
355 S. Washington St. Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 462-2135

Fire Department
2605 Cumberland Drive Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 462-8325

Parks & Recreation
3210 North Campbell Street Valparaiso, IN 46385
(219) 462-5144

Valparaiso Community Schools
3801 N. Campbell St. Valparaiso, IN 46385
(219) 531-3000

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