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New construction pace slows a bit

Construction value

Construction value

The monthly pace of new construction projects in Evanston this year is still running substantially ahead of last year's average but has fallen behind the hot level of two years ago.

Construction value

The monthly pace of new construction projects in Evanston this year is still running substantially ahead of last year's average but has fallen behind the hot level of two years ago.

Construction value

From January through April this year the monthly average is $20.4 million. For all of 2006 the monthly average was $15.1 million, and it was $21.5 million in 2005. The figures come from reports prepared by the city's Community Development Department, which issues building permits.

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.

Since January new work has dropped off, with $7.4 million in February, $15 million in March and $13.1 million in April.

Hardly any new multi-family construction has been permitted since January. For the year so far, new multi-family construction accounts for just over half the total, with rehab work on existing residential properties adding another 19 percent and work on existing business buildings totaling 9.4 percent.

The city gets nearly five percent of its general fund revenue from building permit fees. Fees collected this calendar year so far total $1.5 million, compared to just under $1 million during the same period in 2006, due in part to an increase in the permit fee rate applied to multi-million dollar projects.

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