The city of Minneapolis released figures Monday that pretty much confirmed what many in the real estate industry already knew: The city is in the midst of a building boom.

Based on the value of building permits issued for the year, more than $1 billion of construction projects have been approved, an increase of nearly $500 million since 2010. To date, 12,161 building permits have been issued in Minneapolis.

Also, Minneapolis has issued permits for more housing units so far this year than any time during the condo boom of the last decade. Through Nov. 27, the city issued 3,530 new houing units, including single and muti-family) compared with the previous high of 2,732 in 2004.In 2011, there were just 972 units permitted last year. The last time the total valuation of buildin permits reached the $1 billion mark was 2000, well before the economic meltdown.

The top five construction projects in Minneapolis by building valuation so far in 2012 include:

1. Loring Park Apartments on Spruce Place, $73.1 million.

2. Whole Foods and 222 Hennepin Apartments, $45.2 million.

3. Orchestra Hall addition, 39.5 million.

4. Soo Line Apartments, Fifth Street South, $30.1 million.

5. Children's Hospital/Abbott Northwestern addition, $29.1 million.

Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.

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