Construction work in Evanston increased for a third month in a row last month.

The value or work represented by building permits issued by the city was $37.4 million in July, compared to just $13.1 million back in April.

For the year so far the value of construction activity totals $157.8 million up 25 percent from the $126 million recorded during the same period last year.

Some of the work permitted in recent months is actually demolition work on existing structures that are scheduled for replacement. Those projects further boost the construction value figures when permits for the new buildings are issued.

Demolition sites in town now include the Mather Gardens retirement home at Hinman Avenue and Davis Street, the Kendall College property at Orrington Avenue and Lincoln Street, and the former Evanston Theater complex on Central Street, which is scheduled for a formal ground-breaking ceremony this afternoon.

School construction projects accounted for 37 percent of the new construction work in July and new multifamily housing represented 32 percent. Remodeling of existing residential buildings added another 17 percent.

The city gets nearly five percent of its general fund revenue from building permit fees. Fees collected this calendar year so far total over $3.2 million, compared to $2.5 million during the same period last year.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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