On Tuesday, the city was busy tearing down their third condemned house for fiscal year 2019, and Community Development Director Jessica Scott is thrilled with the progress being made.
“We’re basically doing one house per week,” Scott said. “The fourth is currently out for bid and will be back on January 14. I’m really excited about that, and I think that’s really going to make some big improvements to neighborhoods across town.”
In addition to old properties being demolished, Scott said that many new businesses were in the works with 2018 ending with building permits valued at more than $60 million.
“We haven’t had a year that big since 2014, and it was over twice what we did in 2017,” Scott said.
Though 2014 ended the year with more than $70 million in new building permit values, Scott said many of those permits were for residential buildings while the 2018 permits were for businesses. Scott said she sees this trend continuing into 2019.
“I figure it’s going to be a busy year. We’ve already had a lot of interest in commercial,” Scott said. “It seems like we have a lot of requests for sign permits right now. We have Atwoods and Orscheln being built right now. And of course we also have McAlister’s Deli, Academy, and Panda Express. So it seems like people are really taking advantage of the first of the year to get started on all of that.”
Scott said that McAlister’s Deli plans to open by February 1, and a new convenience store and gas station is currently under construction on the corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Washington. That convenience store plans to open by midyear.