New construction work in Evanston increased for a second month in a row last month, rising to $22.2 million from $16.4 million in May and $13.1 million in April.

Construction values

For first half of the year, the pace of construction work, based on new building permits issued by the city, is running 64 percent ahead of last year, but it’s down 36 percent from the level during the same period of 2005.

This year got off to a strong start with the beginning of $40 million in work on the Bristol Chicago rental high-rise at 413-421 Howard St. But that was less than half the peak achieved in March 2005 when work began on the Sherman Plaza complex downtown.

School construction projects accounted for nearly $6.5 million of the new work permitted in June with remodeling work on existing residential buildings adding another $5.1 million.

The city gets nearly five percent of its general fund revenue from building permit fees. Fees collected this calendar year so far total nearly $2.6 million, compared to $1.5 million during the same period last year.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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