Building activity picks up

Commercial, industrial projects also on the rise

by KEN LAHMERS | EDITOR Published:

Aurora -- New housing starts continued to rise in 2012 as the region's economy improved, according to figures released recently by the city's planning-zoning-building department.

Single-family home building permits rose from 22 in 2011 to 38 in 2012, with the overall value of those homes rising from $7.22 million to $14.68 million.

"We've seen upward trends the last couple of years," said Planning-Zoning-Building Director Rich Wehrenberg. "And we see it continuing. We've already granted 14 building permits for new homes in the first month and a half of this year."

In 2009, local single-family home construction dropped to a several-year low of six units, and the residential project value was only $5.25 million. In 2010, the city granted 12 single-family home building permits with a value of $7.74 million.

Commercial and industrial building projects also showed gains in 2012 over the 2011 levels.

Permits for 16 commercial projects were issued in 2012 with a value of $3.23 million, compared to $1.79 million in 2010 and $2.19 million in 2011, while permits for 10 industrial projects were issued with a value of $5.2 million, compared to $564,501 in 2010 and $2.77 million in 2011.

The biggest commercial project was the former Geauga Lake Hotel's conversion into the Atrium at Anna Maria assisted living center at $2 million. Others over $100,000 were: New Dunkin Donuts building, $375,000; Nike alterations, $183,500; Finish Line alterations, $175,000; Under Armour alterations, $163,100; and Justice alterations, $123,000.

THE LATTER four projects were at Aurora Farms Premium Outlets. Bleacher repairs at the school district's Veterans Stadium was valued at $83,669.

The largest of the industrial projects was an addition at National Biochemical at $1.9 million. Others were: Accublends alterations, $1.44 million; Rovysis new building, $1.43 million; Freedom Storage new building, $138,7816; St. Gobain alterations, $100,000; Berry Plastics alterations, $67,890; TCP alterations, $45,000; Cab Mat garage addition, $35,000; G.E. Healthcare alterations, $30,000; and Trelleborg Sealing Profiles alterations, $4,700.

This year, Wehrenberg said the areas where most of the homes will go up are Hawthorn, Yorkshire Estates and East Homestead Drive. He said work could start by the end of the year on a new subdivision on the southwest corner of Route 306 and Treat Road.

As for commercial-industrial projects, Wehrenberg said there is nothing he can announce at this time, but the city has received a lot of inquiries. He said most projects will be renovations and additions in the southern industrial zone.

He also noted a real estate firm is marketing nearly 700 acres that Cedar Fair owns in Aurora and Bainbridge Township, much of which is the old Geauga Lake Park property, and some land sales could occur this year.

Email: klahmers@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4189

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