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Cedar Rapids sets record on new construction valuation

Valuations rose 35 percent over last fiscal year

The Views Senior Living Communities in Marion is seen here during construction in August. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
The Views Senior Living Communities in Marion is seen here during construction in August. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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The total value of construction in Cedar Rapids for fiscal year 2018 set a record, according to the city.

According to a statement, the city reported $376 million in total valuation in the past fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2017, to June 31 of this year. That is a $133 million increase over last year.

Building valuations are self-reported to the city by contractors when they apply for permits. The value includes construction for new buildings and electrical repairs to existing buildings.

Dan Mika / The Gazette

The increase appears to be mostly driven by a small number of expensive projects rather than a rise in individual permits issued. According to city records, the number of permits issued in fiscal year 2018 fell by 1,190, or 10 percent, from the year before.

Kevin Ciabatti, director of the city’s Building Services department, said the city saw a higher rate of more complex construction proposals in the last fiscal year in both the commercial and residential sectors. Many of those new buildings were “transitional housing,” such as retirement homes or assisted-living facilities.

“What we’re seeing is a transition to different types of construction that we haven’t seen prior on this scale,” he said.

“We still issued 200-plus single-family housing buildings permits last year, and that’s still a sizable number. But the number is also moving for these larger residential structures as well.”

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Four of the 10 most expensive projects approved last year are senior-living facilities of some kind, including additions to Cottage Grove Place and UnityPoint Skilled Nursing, as well as new construction for Stoney Point Meadows Senior Housing and Grand Living at Cedar Rapids. Grand Living was the most expensive project approved last fiscal year at $24.8 million.

The city already has approved $77.5 million in permits in fiscal year 2019.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; dan.mika@thegazette.com

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