Tuesday, October 19, 2021
As the number of available homes dwindled in 2020, new home construction is up this year in Owatonna. Through July, the City of Owatonna has approved 23 residential building permits valued at about $6 million, compared to 14 permits valued at $4.8 million for the same time frame the previous year. Staff photo by Deb Flemming

Construction tops $100M for 2nd year

Construction in Owatonna will top $100 million for the second consecutive year. The question is: By how much?

Building permit valuations issued by the City of Owatonna through July total a little more than $29 million. With the $94 million in permits issued by the state for construction of the new high school, permit valuations within the city through July total a little more than $125 million.

And there are five months remaining in the year.

“It’s amazing,” said Brad Meier, president of the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce. “Last year was a huge year – a record year, and it’s a pretty big deal to have back-to-back $100 million years.”

When the city surpassed $100 million in construction last year, it was the first time in the city’s history. The previous record was set in 2008 when the city issued permits valued at a little more than $78 million to 1,796 applicants.

And while the increase in permit valuations in 2020 can be credited to private industrial growth, Meier said that growth is fueling additional residential and commercial development.

According to Ken Beck, a building official for the City of Owatonna, month-to-month comparisons show permit valuations for new home construction, commercial and apartment construction up from a year ago. And Beck expects 2021 totals in these categories to meet, if not exceed, last year’s figures.

Through July, the city issued 23 permits valued at about $6 million for new home construction compared to 14 permits valued at $4.8 million – an increase of about $1.2 million.

That’s true for apartment construction, too.

The city has already issued about $8.4 million in permits for three new apartment complexes in Owatonna; that’s double the valuation permitted through July a year ago.
That’s even better news, said Meier, adding that housing has been a big challenge for Owatonna in recent years. “We know that if we want to attract and grow, those pieces need be in place.”

Commercial building permit valuations are up about $1.5 million through July, with 112 permits issued compared to 97 through July one year ago.

While industrial permit valuation is down about $40 million from July 2020 to July 2021, Beck said no one is surprised. If you take the Costco Distribution Center and Minimizer out of the mix, industrial building permits issued by the city this year would be on track with the average over the past five or six years.



Steele County Times

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