The pace of construction in Eagan hit a new, five-year high in 2012, according to a year-end building activity report released earlier this month by city officials.
Eagan city officials issued 2,699 private sector building permits in 2012 for construction projects worth a total of nearly $110 million.
Last year's totals represent a significant increase over 2011, when the city issued 2,259 total permits for projects worth $59.7 million. In 2010, the city approved 2,616 permits, but the permitted projects were only worth $45 million.
Eagan Community Development Director Jon Hohenstein said the city hasn't seen this level of construction since 2007.
Check out the PDF documents attached to this article for a full breakdown of building permits by category and valuation.
“I don’t think you an ever anticipate something this dramatic," Hohenstein said. “We’re always cautious, we don’t want to predict trends off of one year, but it certainly is an improvement over 2011, and it’s the strongest year since before the recession."
Commercial improvements accounted for a substantial part of the growth in 2012, with the city approving seven new commercial developments worth more than $8.8 million, plus four commercial additions worth roughly $9.9 million. The city also issued a total of 104 permits to private businesses in Eagan for interior improvements worth approximately $21.5 million.
Many of the new permits were related to the construction of Ecolab's new training facility in Eagan, and substantial investments in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota's facilities, Hohenstein said.
City officials also approved 51 permits for new single family homes worth a total of roughly $19.4 million, according to building permit records. Townhome construction in Eagan exploded in 2012, with permits issued for 103 new townhome/twinhome units issued. The total value of the townhome/twinhome construction was reported at $17.7 million.
The townhome/twinhome growth was prompted by continued development in Eagan's Nicols Ridge, Stonehaven and Steeplechase developments, Hohenstein said.
Apartment-related permits also picked up in 2012, with 34 permits issued for a total value of $3.9 million.
Hohenstein attributed the unexpected growth to low interest rates, a recovering economy and Eagan's prime transportation infrastructure.
"The things that made Eagan an attractive place for its high-growth period: It’s location, the freeways, the proximity to the airport … are all still there,” Hohenstein said.