Vail construction activity shows signs of growth | VailDaily.com

Vail construction activity shows signs of growth

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

Special to the Vail DailyCrews are finishing up construction on the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Vail

VAIL, Colorado –First quarter construction activity in Vail is showing some signs of growth compared to the first three months of 2009.

Building valuation totaled $6.44 million as of March 31 this year, compared to $4.7 million during the same period in 2009, a 37 percent increase. Vail’s record year for valuation was $496 million in 2007.

Community Development Director George Ruther says the growth can also be found in the number of design review and planning applications submitted to his department. There were 106 applications submitted for review during the first quarter compared to only 77 as of the end of the first quarter in 2009. Planning applications are a leading indicator of the number of building permit applications expected in the future.

Building activity is occurring mostly in residential neighborhoods, Ruther says, with 103 building permits issued during the first quarter, compared to 124 permits issued a year ago. Ruther says most of the permits are for remodels, residential additions, home repairs and energy savings upgrades as property owners prepare for summer construction.

Construction fees collected during the first quarter totaled $208,932. That compares with $130,833 collected during the first quarter in 2009. Fees include building permit, plan review, will call inspection service fees, recreation fees and the construction and building materials use tax.There were 456 building inspections recorded during the first quarter, down only slightly from the 499 inspections a year ago.

Inspections are expected to build through the year as three major projects, Solaris, Ritz-Carlton Residences and Four Seasons, head for completion and summer construction season takes hold.

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New projects to break ground include First Chair, the 144-bed employee housing development constructed by Vail Resorts, plus the West Vail fire station, Lionshead transit center and Timber Ridge with 352 employee housing units.