The boom continues: Another billion-dollar year for construction in Allen County

Kevin Leininger

December 4, 2018

Until 2017, Allen County had never issued more than $1 billion permits in a single year. Now it’s happened again — and 2018 isn’t even over yet.

The County Commissioners Tuesday announced that, through Nov. 29, $1.015 billion in building permits had been issued, compared to $1.032 billion in all of 2017. In 2013, $586 million in permits were issued — a number that spiked $931.6 million in 2015 before lowering to $790 million in 2016.

The total number of permits has also been on the rise, from 21,839 in 2013 to 26,185 last year. Through Nov. 29 of this year, 25,320 permits had been issued.

Of the permits issued in 2018, commercial projects accounted for 6,339 worth $586.8 million, while residential work generated 18,981 permits valued at $428.4 million. Major 2018 commercial projects have included construction projects by the East Allen and Fort Wayne Community Schools, Lutheran Hospital and Lincoln Financial.

Efforts to improve efficiency through technology also seem to be bearing fruit, county officials noted. So far this year, an all-time high of 49.3 percent of permits were acquired on line, up from 28.8 percent in 2013.

“There/s a lot of great things going on (with the economy),” Commissioner Nelson Peters said, noting how local government and others have created an environment conducive to growth.

“To top $1 billion two years in a row is astounding,” agreed Commissioner Therese Brown.

“A growing economy is vital to a community, and this is a great year,” added John Urbahns, executive vice president of economic development for Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

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