Millions in commercial construction under wayBy MEGAN PHILLIPS,
Although residential permits are down this year, the city of Ridgeland continues to be a commercial hub, with $10 million more in construction being spent this year alone.
Last year, city officials approved nine commercial permits between January and September, with approximately $18,670,000 in construction costs.
So far this year, the city has issued eight permits, with a total construction cost exceeding $28,600,000.
“The number represents permits that were issued,” Alan Hart, Ridgeland community development director, said. “So, construction is ongoing, but some permitted projects have been completed.”
There is not one big development contributing to the large increase in construction values, but “more of a collection of many,” according to Hart.
Some of the commercial projects this year include Shelter Insurance, Slim Chickens, 588 Highway 51, Gilchrist Donnell, Morgan White, Sprint Mart, 204 West Jackson Street, Sky Zone, Crunch Gym and the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School healthplex.
Commercial permit values have remained fairly steady over the past five years, Hart said.
“We saw a slight uptick in 2014 and 2017.”
Seventy-five percent of the city’s commercial development over the past five years has occurred east of I-55, and Hart said the remaining commercial development has been occurring along Highland Colony Parkway.
Residential permits are down this year, but officials say it’s due to a lack of new neighborhood development last year.
From January through September 2016, city officials approved 44 residential permits with a total construction cost of approximately $18,800,000.
So far this year, 27 permits have been issued at a construction cost of $13,700,000.
“There were 17 fewer homes built in fiscal year 2017,” Hart said. “New neighborhood development slowed in 2016, which results in fewer new building permits in 2017.”
But the average building permit value of homes built in 2017 exceeds $500,000, while the average residential building permit value over the past five years is $400,000.
“The average building permit value in 2016 was considerably less, which indicates that smaller homes were built in 2016 and larger homes were building in 2017,” Hart said. “The average of the last five years has been about 55 homes per year, with a building permit value of about $22 million per year, which averages to $400,000 per home.”
All of the important residential development occurring this year is located in Bridgewater, according to Hart.
“We received three final plats in fiscal year 2017: Bridgewater 11D addition, Bridgewater 8A addition, Bridgewater 12A addition.”
The city’s current inventory of available lots is low, but there is plenty of additional land that is properly zoned for more residential development, according to Hart.
“We are seeing residential development west of Highland Colony Parkway and east of I-55,” he said. “We see the higher values (and) larger homes west of Highland Colony Parkway (e.g. Bridgewater), but the number of new permits has been evenly split.”