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story.lead_photo.caption The construction of the new Jefferson City location of Big O Tires at 1614 Jefferson St. nears completion in advance of its Oct. 31, 2016 planned opening. Concrete workers from Brett Stevens Construction in Marshfield are seen working on the final segment of the freshly-poured cement on the driveway. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

New commercial construction in Jefferson City rose significantly in 2016, according to the city's building permit statistics report for the fiscal year.

The city's Building Regulations Division issued 12 non-residential new construction permits in FY2016 for projects including restaurants, retail stores and even a new day care.

Not bad, coming off 2015, the year with the fewest new commercial construction permits in the 29 years of building permit records available.

Those projects were valued at $22,983,613 all together — a banner year for commercial construction in Jefferson City, behind only five years in the past 29 years in terms of value, and relatively close to the average value of $26.9 million over the past 10 years.

And that doesn't include the publicly owned University Wellness and Parks Multi-Purpose Recreation Center completed in January, valued at $11,569,803.

While the number of permits issued for non-residential expansions and remodels stayed exactly the same as FY2015 — at 154 — it remains higher than ever.

"A lot of people are wanting to expand their business and expand their lines. I think there's some optimism in the economy," said James Stark, owner of Stark Construction Services in Jefferson City and a board member for the Home Builders Association of Central Missouri.

While new commercial construction permits rebounded in FY2016, they're still sparse compared to the years before 2010.

That can partially be explained by the fact "there's a lot of buildings available," Stark said.

When a selection of vacant commercial buildings exists with factors like infrastructure and zoning already in place, he said, businesses can bypass some of the issues associated with new construction.

On the residential side, new home construction remained flat with 2015's record low 39 building permits — while residential alterations and additions skyrocketed.

With 260 permits issued for home renovations or expansions in FY2016, the past few years' trend of making your home work for you rather than seeking a new one is continuing in Jefferson City.

Stark said many people have refinanced their homes while interest rates remained low, using the money they freed up to improve.

"They like the location and decided they didn't want to move, so they're tuning it up a little bit," he said, adding he's seen those renovations across the spectrum — bathrooms, kitchens and additions.

Jefferson City's fiscal year runs from Nov. 1 to Oct. 31.


FY 2016 non-residential new construction permits in Jefferson City

Panera Bread, 2214 Missouri Blvd.

Chapel Hill Commons III apartment complex, 12 Jackson St.

All Seasons Landscaping (new pole barn), 2417 Southridge Drive

Sycamore Place day care, 3219 Masonic Court

K J and Company L P Chen (strip mall), 2208 Missouri Blvd.

Jefferson City Memorial Airport (new hangar), 539 Airport Road

Edge Express (service station), 2727 W. Edgewood Drive

Wellness Center, 1299 Lafayette St.

Big O Tires, 1614 Jefferson St.

Boys & Girls Club, 11054 Lafayette St.

IHOP, 2011 Missouri Blvd.

Helias High School athletic complex, 1200 Myrtle Ave.

Goodwill, 2821 S. Ten Mile Drive

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