Permits pulled last month for new construction at the Three Crowns Park retirement community gave Evanston its first big boost in building activity this year.
Work valued at $32.5 million at the retirement complex generated nearly $565,000 in building permit revenue for the city.
Other major permits approved last month include $7 million in continuing work on the new Sienna condominium development at 1740 Oak Ave. and a $2.1 million project to construct new condos at 2500 Green Bay Road.
However building permit fees for the first seven months of the year are still down 23 percent from the same period last year.
But excluding March, which saw an unusual spike in 2005 when permits were issued for the Sherman Plaza project downtown, this year's numbers are now 13 percent ahead of last year.
For the year so far, new multi-family residential buildings account for 40 percent of the value of all construction projects. Improvements to existing residential properties account for 25 percent and work on existing business properties totals 16 percent.
Building permit fees last fiscal year topped $4 million and the city is anticipating about the same amount of revenue this year. It represents nearly five percent of the city's general fund income.