"Overall commercial is up but residential is down as compared with this time last year," said Tom Bridger, public works director.
"Subdivisions are low on available lots to build on," said Bridger. "I think people are waiting for the newer subdivisions to open up."
There were 92 residential structure permits, which includes additions, sheds and garages in addition to new homes, through the end of July as compared with 137 at this time last year, or $12.2 million in construction as compared with $3.2 million. In 2000 there were only 80 permits as of July.
Bridger said the condominium project itself accounts for about $7.5 million of last year's figure, however. "It's calculated at the time the permit was issued, not when the project is completed," he explained.
Additionally, permits for single family homes are up with 18 so far this year as compared with last year's 14 as of July.
As residential construction seems to be "fairly stable" over the last few years, Bridger said there is a good possibility residential construction will show higher numbers next year as more lots become available to build on.
Several subdivisions have been approved in the city recently but haven't had construction begin yet, Bridger said, as the developers need to complete streets and water and sewer lines before they begin to sell lots. Some of the lots at least may be ready by the end of this year, however.
"We had a slight decrease in the last census we had," said Bridger, "I'm hoping we're getting those numbers back." He said the census may have done the best job possible, but suspects Sikeston may not have lost as many people as the figures show. "There were still people missed," he said.
In commercial construction, 23 permits were issued as of the end of July with a total construction cost of $5.9 million as compared with the 2001 totals at this time showing 14 permits for a little over $2 million in construction costs, Bridger reported.
The month of July had the same number of commercial construction permits as last year - four - but the construction value is up to $1.15 million for the month as compared with only $849,000 in July 2001, he noted.