Community Development Director James Wolinski says new construction in Evanston could drop by as much as 25 percent next year because of the overall slowing of the housing market.

Mr. Wolinski says his staff sees fewer major projects in the construction pipeline now than Evanston has seen for several years.

New construction starts in Evanston in August dropped back to the same range they’ve been in for most of the year, after a jump in July caused by new work at the Three Crowns Park retirment community.

The city gets nearly five percent of its general fund revenue from building permit fees. The fees last fiscal year topped $4 million, and Mr. Wolinski has forecast about the same amount for this year.

But for the fiscal year that started in March permit fees are down nearly 20 percent from the prior year, and for the calendar year they’re down 23 percent.

For the year so far, new multi-family projects account for 38 percent of the total value of construction work. Rehab of existing residential buildings accounts for another 25 percent and work on existing business structures adds another 15 percent.

Work on new and existing school buildings represents 8 percent and construction of new single family homes accounts for 5 percent.

Permits were issues for just over $11 million in construction projects in August and the total for the calendar year now stands at $137 million.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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