More smaller projects built in 2002 |

More smaller projects built in 2002

Cliff Thompson

Local builders are constructing fewer huge second homes and large projects, moving to constructing more commercial projects, remodeling and smaller buildings.

“We’re seeing some slowing in the high end market,” said contractor George Schaeffer of Avon. “We’re seeing some more renovations and remodels. I see that as a trend.”

Building permits for 2002 totalled 460, up 12.5 percent from 2001’s 409. But even with the increase in permits, there was a significant decrease in the valuation total for 2002 compared to the previous year, meaning more, smaller projects were built.

The value of those 460 building 2002 permits was $135.6 million. That’s down 43 percent from the value of the 409 building permits issued in 2001, and less than half of 2000’s $322.8 million.

“We’ve got a lot of smaller permits with less value,” said Dan Stanek of the Eagle County community development department.

A significant portion of last year’s valuation total -$81.3 million – can be attributed to the completion of the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch and it’s related interval ownership property.

The 2002 numbers indicate more smaller projects made up the preponderance of residential building permits. There were 111 single-family dwelling unit permits and 66 multi-family unit permits purchased. In 2001 the totals were 255 residential permits with 130 single-family and 125 multi-family dwelling units.

In 2000 there were 433 permits with 203 single-family units and 203 multi-family permits purchased. The record for number of permits purchased is 1998 when there were 511 with 269 single-family and 242 multi-family permits purchased.

Total 1998 building permits, including commercial development, was 660 permits.

With a national economy that continues soft, distressed properties increased slightly. Foreclosures were on par with 2001, with 214 for 2002 compared to 2001’s 209. During the height of the building boom, 1999, there were just 64 foreclosures.

The last quarter of 2002 had more building permits purchased – 115 – than any fourth quarter in the last 5 years. In 1999 only 101 were purchased and last year’s fourth quarter total was a meager 47.

The valuation of building projects for the final quarter of 2002 was $18.9 million, double 2001’s $9.7 million. In 1999 valuation of building projects the final quarter was $34.4 million.

A total of 31 residential dwelling unit permits were purchased for the final quarter of 2002 while 2001’s final quarter total was just 14. The record was 1999’s 74.

Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555 ext 450 or

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