Building down slightly
By Kevin Huelsmann and Benjamin Graham, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
December 6, 2012
Construction in Teton County has remained relatively stagnant this year, though some builders see an upswing in new single-family homes.
Jed Mixter, principle of Two Ocean Builders, said his company began new jobs in October and November.
Things have leveled off since then, but, in general, business is better than last year, he said.
“Absolutely, it’s trend up,” he said Wednesday.
The company has jobs throughout the area, but Mixter said most new residential construction has been in 3 Creek Ranch, Spring Creek Ranch and some of the older parts of Teton Village.
Building permit data, taken from the town and county building departments, bears out Mixter’s observations.
County staff have issued 67 permits since Jan. 1 for new single-family homes. Last year, 57 permits were written by the end of November.
In the town of Jackson, 16 permits have been recorded this year for new single-family houses, worth a total of $8.2 million.
That rate compares favorably with last year, when the town issued eight permits valued at $2.8 million.
Permits for townhouses also are up significantly this year in Jackson. Twenty-four have been issued in 2012, compared with 10 in 2011.
In the county, building department workers have issued 201 permits this year. That number decreased by five permits from last year.
Aside from new single-family construction, most other categories haven’t budged much from last year.
Additions and remodels are down slightly in the county, as are accessory buildings and commercial development.
The estimated value of residential construction is nearly identical to last year. Residential permits issued by the county this year are worth roughly $106,660,596. By the same time last year, the value of residential permits was $106,356,602.
The value of commercial construction has, however, fallen in the county. So far this year, permits issued by the county are worth about $2.78 million. During the same period last year, commercial permits issued by the county were valued at $3.99 million.
Total building permit activity for the town remains behind last year. But that is largely due to the $7.5 million addition to the Teton County Library in 2011.
Permits through November totaled $21.2 million, compared with $25.1 million last year.
Many of the jobs that Mixter’s company has picked up this season are from people from outside Wyoming who want to build a home in the valley.
“Primarily, it’s a lot of out-of-town folks,” he said.
Over the past few weeks, permits issued by the county have been split between residents and newcomers. The higher-dollar projects were being built by out-of-town residents.
The county issued a permit for a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom home, estimated to be worth $2.5 million, to residents of Naperville, Ill. Another permit was issued for a 4-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home on Tucker Ranch Road, a project estimated to be worth $1.9 million.
The county issued permits to Teton County residents for new homes on Split Creek Road and Fall Creek Road.
The most significant permit issued in town last month was given to the Jackson Hole Community School for $400,000 worth of work. The school is adding four classrooms and one office.