Minneapolis construction permits so far in 2014 hit a record

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 15, 2014 - 10:52 PM

The year is far from over, but construction spending in Minneapolis is shattering records.

So far this year, the city issued commercial and residential building permits worth $1.2 billion and is on pace for more than $2 billion in new spending by the end of the year.

“It is exciting to see Minneapolis continue to grow as it is a testament that we are a city where people want to live, work and play,” said Doug Kress, director of city of Minneapolis Development Services.

The trend represents a dramatic turnaround for Minneapolis and other metros across the country where an urban renaissance is underway. By 2010, in the wake of the housing crash, construction spending fell to a low of $548 million. It has been on the rise ever since and amounted to $1.2 billion last year.

Minneapolis has two massive commercial projects underway in an emerging neighborhood called Downtown East, and there’s an apartment boom in and around downtown.

Commercial projects have led the sector. This year alone, they totaled more than $831 million, including permits for various stages of the Vikings Stadium and Wells Fargo towers, which together are valued at more than $1.5 billion.

Multiple permits are issued for such projects at various stages of construction. The Vikings Stadium accounted for $241 million in permits and an apartment and the Wells Fargo office towers were worth $218 million.

Housing construction has been robust as well. Residential permits in the city were worth $278 million, including more than 1,500 apartments permitted during the first half of the year. During 2012 and 2013, more than 3,400 new units were permitted each year.

“Driven by a high level of investment in commercial development, including the new stadium and multifamily housing developments, the $1 billion in construction permits approved so far this year speaks to our commitment to working toward creating a more vibrant Minneapolis,” Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement.

The city hasn’t issued a 2015 forecast, but construction spending is expected to wane slightly as work progresses on the stadium and Wells Fargo towers, which Kress expects will help spark other projects.

Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376

  • Top 5 projects

    Vikings Stadium: $241 million

    Downtown East (apartments, office towers): $218 million

    Wahu Student Housing: $64 million

    Latitude 45 apartments: $53 million

    15th Av. Student Housing apartments: $36 million

    These figures don’t represent total project cost, only the value of the permits issued during this period.

    Source: Minneapolis Department of Community Planning & Economic Development

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