Bridgeport Construction Booming to Tune of More than $17.5 Million in First Quarter and More on the Way
By Jeff Toquinto on April 08, 2018
Big construction numbers in Bridgeport aren’t necessarily unusual. There have been times in the last few decades where there’s been more than $100 million in construction in a single year and even a year of more than $500 million when United Hospital Center came to town.
Most years, the numbers are fairly consistent and impressive for a city with less than 10,000 residents. In fact, the City has witnessed during the last five years construction totals of $59.46 million in 2013, 57.46 million in 2014; $35.29 million in 2015, $44.81 million in 2016 and last year saw $40.36 million in construction activities from building permits.
While there was a slight drop off between last year and the year before, things are looking up again. And they’re picking up in a big way.
In the first quarter of 2018, Community Development Director Andrea Kerr said that the city has issued $17.5 million in building permits. The only year in the past five that the number was topped in the first quarter was in 2014 when UHC had a $13.5 million permit to build the new Bruce Carter United Orthopaedic and Spine Center.
Here’s what’s more encouraging. Kerr said there’s several other projects that will likely soon be announced by developers.
“There are several other big projects in the works that won’t become public until they actually acquire building permits, but there is more than one multi-million dollar project that we’re talking about,” said Kerr. “I’m excited about what’s already happened and what could be happening soon.”
Count Bridgeport Mayor Andy Lang among those excited for the first quarter of 2018. Lang mentioned the building boom during remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony held Tuesday for the new Clear Mountain Bank at White Oaks and reiterated those comments when asked about the surge and what it means for Bridgeport.
“What you’re seeing is the city continuing to grow and people in a positive manner putting their resources into Bridgeport,” said Lang. “Take the bank for instance. We have several strong banks in Bridgeport and they felt strong enough about being able to succeed in this market that they invested their resources and put up significant capital to construct a new building.”
Lang isn’t kidding about the capital being invested by Clear Mountain Bank. Their building permit for their new structure is for $1.44 million.
That permit is one of several big ones that have helped create the total. Yet another addition to United Hospital Center is leading the way at $3.369 million along with Ten Mile Land, LLC at $1.8 million; Mountain State Brewing at $1.1 million and the renovations to the former Christie-Cutlip building to become the new Harrison County 911 Center at $1.05 million.
While Kerr can’t disclose some of the projects, some have already been announced that will have building permits filed soon.
Those projects include the Regional Eye Associates building and the buildout of Fairmont State University in the second floor of the Greater Bridgeport Convention and Visitors Bureau building.
“Most of the projects were already in the works when (former Community Development Director) Randy Spellman was here, but Ten Mile was one we didn’t know about,” said Kerr. “Randy laid the groundwork for a lot of this to come in and I was able to nicely pick up where he left off. Half of it, and probably more, is a credit to his work.”
While the big ticket items are important, a lot of the construction activity involved new homes or additions and upgrades to existing homes. In fact, Kerr said three-fourths of the permits filed in the first three months are existing residents doing upgrades and additions to existing homes.
“That’s so important to keeping Bridgeport looking nice and keeping the older neighborhoods more current,” said Kerr. “The other thing that it definitely helps with are the property values.”
Kerr said most of the new housing is from Meadow Creek, which is a development along Meadowbrook Road. She also pointed to Dan Ryan Builders acquiring seven new home construction permits throughout areas of Charles Pointe.
“There’s potential for this to be one of the biggest years in recent years,” said Kerr. “The good news is that we’re already having a strong year, but we certainly would like to see those numbers continue to climb.”