Construction in Sparta down from previous year

Construction in the City of Sparta in 2015 lagged behind the prior year’s figures, while the price of Tomah’s building projects more than doubled in the same time period.
Sparta issued 60 building permits last year for construction projects totaling $9,420,039. That’s compared to 56 permits in 2014 for $10,619,600 in projects.
Sparta City Administrator Todd Fahning, who doubles as building inspector, said the 2015 figures don’t include a substantial building project being undertaken by Gundersen Healthcare, which broke ground for a multi-million clinic in the fall.
He said Gundersen only applied for footing permits in 2015 and the rest of the project will be reflected in the 2016 figures.
Still, Fahning said, there is reason to be upbeat about last year’s numbers. While new commercial projects dropped significantly, from $5.2 million in 2014 to $575,274 last year, expansion and remodeling of existing commercial buildings more than doubled in the same period, going from $1.47 million to $3.78 million.
“Even though our new building may be down, it’s equally as important as our existing businesses,” said Fahning, pointing out that it reflects the strength of Sparta’s established commercial enterprises.
The top projects included Brenengen Ford, $302,000; Morrow Home, $309,000; and Dollar Tree, $128,000.
The city’s residential construction doubled in 2015, with $4.77 million in new housing projects. Those included 22 new single-family units around the city  for a total of $3.47 million and two multi-family (16 unit) complexes constructed on Avon Road for $650,000 each.
“Overall, housing in Sparta is very strong,” said Fahning. “Residential has definitely had a stellar year compared to last year.”
Residential remodeling held steady, rising slightly to $279,795 in 2015 from $255,000 the year before.
In Tomah, Building Inspector Shane Rolff issued 402 permits in 2015, generating $16,230,561 in construction. That’s compared to 2014, when Tomah had only 237 permits issued for $8,032,401 in construction.
Tomah’s 2015 new commercial construction totaled $2.7 million and included a new $1.3 million Kwik Trip on South Superior Avenue, a $450,000 Caribou Coffee and gas station complex on East Clifton Street and a $650,000 R.I.A. Federal Credit Union building on North Superior Avenue.
A 51-unit multi-family project on Berry Avenue added $3.3 million to Tomah’s 2015 residential construction, which also included $2.5 million for 12 single-family homes.
Remodeling and addition projects to existing commercial buildings totaled $2.7 million.

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